Photos by Lois Cooper | MuskokaTODAY.com
BALA – It was a jolly St. Nick here Saturday afternoon as the fine fellow in red suited up for his first official parade appearance of the Christmas holiday season.
He brought sunshine, and before him a lot of floats and enough sweet treats to fill hundreds of kiddie bags at the Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event.
With three bands – the Muskoka Concert Band, the Orillia Silver Band and the Bracebridge Legion Pipe Band – and dozens of cars and trucks decorated in their festive best, they joined more than 100 marchers who wished several hundred more watching along the Hwy. 169 route Merry Christmas and otherwise entertained with singing and dancing.
Mayor Phil Harding and some of his new council wished everyone well.
As the parade wended its way from its formation in front of the Kee to Bala, and to the Community Centre – for hot chocolate, hot dogs, a visit and photo with Santa and a chance to sit on his knee and tell him what you wanted for Christmas – it flew through the stop light on the bridge where the new hydro station is under construction.
Missing was any sign of Swift River or a float from them.
Still, the people in Bala were united in their smiles and best wishes for the season.
And all it took was Santa to give everyone a huge smile and big wave of his white-gloved hand.
If you missed him in Bala, he’s in Gravenhurst this weekend, at 11 a.m. for the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce parade.
After that he’s in Huntsville Friday night Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.; and then Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Bracebridge.
He’s also in Baysville and Georgian Bay later.
He was in Orillia last Sunday, Nov. 18.