Parade Day Etiquette: The Santa Claus Parade

November 21, 2016


The holiday season is fast approaching and one of the ways I’ve marked its arrival over the years is with the Santa Claus Parade . It’s a tradition in our family every year to go and watch the Santa Claus parade in downtown Toronto . We’ve changed how we watch the parade over the years as our family has grown and grown up but there is still something magical about being on the parade route. So in the hopes of keeping the parade magical for patrons wherever you are watching the parade from this year, here are some tips for parade day etiquette.

Arrive early if you want to be front row

Santa Claus parades are popular with viewers young and old and that means that front row seats are in high demand. Do not expect to show up a few minutes before and be able to be right in front. Depending on the rules in your municipality it is best to arrive at least an hour early and set up your viewing area. Using folding spectator chairs is a great option because you can set up your spot but it also means that as people arrive after you they can see the parade from a standing position.

Don’t Block The View

Even if you’ve arrived early and claimed your space please remember this is a community event and that we should all do our best to make sure we can all enjoy the parade. For example if you are a tall person in the front row who is standing, you may invite smaller children to come and stand or sit in front of you so that everyone can see. It won’t compromise your view and then everyone can enjoy the spectacle.

Respect the Parade Boundaries

Putting on a parade is a massive logistical exercise. Between the spectators, the participants and the road closures, local law enforcement and parade organizers really need our help to keep everything running smoothly. Please obey signs about parking and driving and if you are asked to change direction or your actions because of the parade, please be pleasant and not snippy.

Don’t Leave a Mess

I recognize this might sound incredibly Canadian but one of my biggest pet peeves after a parade is all of the garbage left behind. We would never behave that way normally, Canadian streets are typically very well kept and it should be no different at a parade. Out of respect for the neighborhood hosting the parade, make sure to carry out any used coffee cups or wrappers and place them in the garbage, it just isn’t polite to be a litter bug.

Remember it’s a FAMILY Event

As much as the parade is for all ages, the Santa Claus parade is always an event that appeals to children so there are going to be a lot of VERY excited children on hand. That means you have to pack your patience and your empathy. Although there is no excuse for bad behavior, we can all remember what it was like to be a child excited about the magic of a holiday parade.

Happy Santa Claus Parade