Santa parade, tree lighting, decorating contest judging this Friday in St. Stephen

St. Stephen – Despite the unseasonably warm weather, Christmas season is arriving in St. Stephen with a bang this week, marked by a Santa Claus parade, a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and a holiday lamppost decorating contest.

The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18. Kids are encouraged to write letters to Santa which will be collected along the parade route by representatives of Canada Post. The children are encouraged to include their full mailing address on their letters so Santa can reply.

The Grand Marshal for this year’s parade is Dot Larsen, the crossing guard for St. Stephen Elementary School. The parade will begin at Ganong Bros., Limited and the Charlotte Mall and travel down King Street, through a new “gentle zone.” Within this zone, patrons with noise sensitivities can enjoy the parade without having to listen to loud sirens and horns. Christmas music will be played, but at a lower volume. The gentle zone area will end at Tim Hortons.

The parade will be preceded at 6 p.m. by the tree lighting ceremony in town square at the foot of King Street. Those attending are encouraged to fill the town fountain in front of the St. Croix Public Library with food to be donated to the local food bank. Complimentary hot chocolate will be sponsored by The Co-Operators. The tree has been supplied again this year by John Dufour and Randy’s Towing has assisted with the installation of its lights.
Judging for the second annual lamppost decorating contest will take place Friday evening. Participants are encouraged to decorate the posts this week along King Street and Milltown Boulevard. The winner will receive a $50 donation to the charity of their choice, along with “bragging rights.”