Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Santa Claus Parade Memories

Photo by scott3eh (Scott Rogers)

Readers are always welcome to share their childhood memories with us. Last week, Kelly J. left a lovely email reminiscing about Toronto's Santa Claus Parade during the time it was sponsored by Eaton's department store.

"I really miss the old Eaton's Santa Claus parades!!! Those were the best!... every commercial during the parade, were Eaton's Christmas commercials.... like the old "Ronco" razor commercials, where Santa use to ride the electric razor down the snowy hills and around the trees!! Then on Christmas eve, they had the news report that told you where Santa was on his travels, and if he was close by, our parents made us go to bed right away!!, lol.. that was the only time of year they could get us to go to bed early!, lol.. I really miss those good ole days!...I was looking up the lyrics to the old "Tiny Talent Time" show. that's what led me to your blog, lol. so many things i miss when we were small, lol. I think I remember the parade being hosted by Bill Lawrence from Tiny Talent Time, and Faye Dance!....those were the days!"

If you grew up in Ontario or thereabouts many of the names listed above will make sense. If you are new to this bit of local nostalgia here's a brief overview:

The Toronto Santa Claus Parade began in 1905. Over a century later, the parade remains a vibrant Christmas tradition in the city. A myriad of festive floats travel the same six kilometre route each November. The parade was originally sponsored by Eaton's, a national retail chain until 1982 when rising costs forced the company to opt out. The parade was so identified with the retailer that the Archives of Ontario stores stacks of letters from heartbroken and angry parade-goers who had come to believe that "the Eaton's parade is Christmas". The parade ever successful is now run by a non-profit organization. Bill Lawrence and Faye Dance were local reporters/presenters in the 70s/80s.

Many thanks to Kelly for sharing her sweet memories.

Source: Eaton's Santa Claus Parade Colouring Book

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