A Canadian Christmas
A parade float decorated with a mix of Christmas and Canada 150 décor made its way along the parade route. O’Donohue photo

Pipers piping
The Kemptville Legion Pipes & Drums band marched through Winchester filling the streets with Christmas music.

Michelle O’Donohue
Record Contributor
WINCHESTER – Santa Claus made his yearly visit to Winchester for the 21st annual North Dundas Parade of Lights on Sat., Dec. 2. Crowds lined the streets of downtown to watch the parade that began at the North Dundas Township Office, and continued the 3 km trek through town ending at Dawley Drive. Spectators arrived early to stake out good viewing spots.

Island of Misfit Toys
Two children greeted the crowds while riding on their float decorated as the Island of Misfit Toys from the 1964 TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

There were other Christmas events taking place in North Dundas throughout the day as a lead up to the parade including a Vendor and Trade Fair at the Joel Steele Arena, and several planned community meals. Sweet Corner Park at the corner of Main and St. Lawrence Street in Winchester was a popular place to stop with a Beavertails truck, goodies sold by Therien Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing, and the Fries for Charity stand that was raising funds to be contributed to the downtown revitalization committee.

Santa rides through town
Santa Claus got a lift from a Chesterville Fire Department fire truck during the parade. As usual, the man in red was the final float in the procession.
O’Donohue photos

The Parade began at 7 p.m. and included a variety of floats, and marchers. Participants showed their creativity with decorated wagons, trucks, and livestock. Floats were primarily entered by local businesses and organizations, and were all vying for top prize in the contest categories of; Best Overall Float, Best Business Float, Best Non-Profit Organization Float, Most Lights, Best Decorated Farm Equipment, People’s Choice, and special for 2017, Best Canada-themed Float.

North Dundas Parade of Lights Committee Chair Sandy Burns stated in an email to The Record, “There was a grand total of 60 floats, including Santa. I am always amazed at the quality of the floats every year, and this year was no exception. This year’s parade was a huge success, and I’m very grateful to everyone who came together to help make it happen.”

The energy level was high, and the Christmas spirit perhaps greater yet as the parade moved through town filling the streets with Christmas music, and dazzling light displays. As usual, St. Nick himself closed the show, riding through town in a Chesterville Fire Department fire truck, much to the pleasure of all parade attendees.