Thursday August 21, 2014





Christmas parade brings joy to downtown

Christmas wishes for a My Little Pony, days off from work and a toy dog greeted Saint Nick as the jolly old elf kicked off the city's 32nd Santa Claus Parade.

Thousands of boys and girls of all ages crowded into the downtown Saturday morning to wake Santa Claus after a long, hard night spent working in his toyshop.

TV 7 general manager Rick Arnish invited everyone to take part in the awakening as Santa's sleigh rolled into Kamloops Square.

"Does everyone remember what we have to do to wake up Santa?" Arnish asked the crowd.

The group yelled, "Wake up Santa Claus."

"That's right," said Arnish. "Come on kids."

So everyone yelled. The first attempt caused Santa to stir, but his snoring continued. A second barrage prompted him to rub his eyes. But the third time was the charm, and Santa woke up.

"Ho, ho, ho," he said.

Santa smiled and waved at the crowd, and had a brief talk with Arnish, before he and his elves joined the procession of 82 floats from the City, local business and charities, and Kamloops Fire and Rescue, among others.

The parade travelled down Second Avenue to Victoria Street, where it headed east toward Sixth Avenue.

At times the gathering of onlookers was several rows deep. People sat on the curb or huddled under blankets to watch. Several parents hoisted their son or daughter onto their shoulders for a better view.

Many of the children came to the parade with an idea of what they want for Christmas.

Jackson Atkinson, 3, wants a remote controlled Lightning McQueen from the movie Cars. He said the presents, and Santa Claus, are his favourite things about the holiday.

His dad, Drew Atkinson, has other ideas.

"I get time off work," he said.

Shelby Mackie, 6, wants a toy dog that she'll name Rose, after her mom. Sister Lydia, 10, would like a cell phone, any kind of cell phone.

And their youngest sibling, Eriana, 3?

"I want a toy. Any toy," she said.

Ed Rugolo brought his song, Ryan, and daughter, Emma, to watch the parade. Emma said she wants a My Little Pony for Christmas.


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