Carol Clarke

Santa arrives in Sooke Sunday

The Sooke Santa Claus Parade will be in the evening for the first time in a number of years

No matter how much we try to figure it out, there is just something warm and magical in the twinkle of a string of colourful Christmas lights decorating a house, or a town centre.

And if you had a bad craving lately for some cheerful holiday spirit, well you’re in for a treat: the Sooke Santa Claus Parade is coming town.

Better yet, the parade which is Sunday (Nov. 29), will be in the evening – a first in years – starting at 5 p.m. and running until 6 p.m., so Sooke residents will be able to get a first glimpse of the town’s new Christmas light decorations.

Organizers will assemble at Sooke Elementary School parking lot for decorated single vehicles as well as walking groups and line up along Sooke Road east of the school for large floats such as commercial trucks and trailer floats. From there, they will march west along Sooke Road to the Royal Canadian Legion, where the District of Sooke will hold a special tree lighting ceremony.

“We want to light up Sooke,” said Aline Doiron, of the Sooke Region Chamber of Commerce, organizers of the event.

She said the District of Sooke wants to feature the improvements of the downtown core including the decorative street lights.

Among the lead hands in the parade is the Sooke Christmas Bureau, Sooke Rotary, and Sooke Harbourside Lions, all of whom will have floats, complete with lighting.

Among the marchers will be Mike Thompson, the Sooke Lions Club treasurer, who also volunteers for the Sooke Food Bank.

He said even though the Lions don’t have a float, they’ll be helping the Christmas Bureau folk put theirs together, besides putting the face of the Sooke Food Bank out there.

“I’m already involved with the food bank, I just drag these guys along to walk for the food bank,” he said.

“We’re going to decorate the float, put lights on it, we’ll try to have the best lighted little trailer in the whole parade.”

The spirit of giving started early this year, after all, Sooke has become its own hot hub of fundraising activity. As such, Sooke Seahawks players collected money from fundraising through their football team with the goal to either buy food and bring it to the Sooke Food Bank, or provide a monetary donation every year – there will be 25 participants from the Sooke Seahawks in this year’s parade.

 

On the night-of, a detour route will be in place. From 4:45 to 6 p.m., Highway 14 will be closed from Church Street to Shields Road. To keep traffic moving along smoothly through town, traffic control personnel will be in place to assist, along with the Sooke RCMP at intersections.