Santa Claus arrives with his reindeer for the Chatham Christmas Parade on Nov 18, 2016 (Photo by Cheryl Johnstone/Blackburn News)

Jolly Old St. Nick Visits Chatham Friday Night

Santa Claus is coming to town along a different route in Chatham this year, so don’t get caught waiting for him in the wrong spot.

Connie Beneteau with the Historic Downtown Chatham BIA says it took a lot of work to figure out a new route with construction at the corner of Sandys St. / Lacroix St. and Grand Ave. W.

This time, the parade will be heading across the Third St. Bridge instead of heading down Lacroix St. like it usually does.

“Ultimately, we ended up just on the other side of the river,” says Beneteau. “Although it seems like a shorter route, it still has the same number of floats as last year — we have approximately 80 floats.”

Beneteau says they had to consider a lot of different factors when they chose the route this year.

“Every road we looked at either wasn’t large enough or it was a fire route or the transport trucks couldn’t make that turn,” says Beneteau. “For this year at least, just over the bridge was the only alternative.”

If you’re coming out to see Santa, you can help him out by bringing some non-perishable goods along, too. Beneteau says the Salvation Army and the Goodfellows will both be collecting canned goods along the way.

This year’s festivities will kick off with a “Flaunt Your Flannel — Santa Edition” run down King St. starting at 5:30pm. The parade itself will start at 6:30pm on Dover St., heading south across the Third St. Bridge, then left onto King St. W. and it’ll wrap up at the WISH Centre.

Once the parade is over, Santa will be sticking around for a bit at the WISH Centre so that kids can come in and tell him what they want for Christmas.

The route for the 2017 Chatham Santa Claus Parade. (Poster courtesy of the Downtown Chatham BIA).