Grimsby reverse parade and Holiday of Hope starts 5 p.m. today

Reverse parade in Downtown Grimsby starts Dec. 5pm Reverse parade in Grimsby starts 5pm on Saturday Dec. 5

Updated: Dec. 5, 2020

Today is parade day in Grimsby. The Holiday of Hope and its reverse parade starts at 5 pm. in Grimsby.

“Residents are invited to visit several locations across town where lights, special displays, and other traditional parade components will be on display for residents to visit from the safety of their vehicles,” the town said in a public advisory.

Stops on a pre-published map (see below) have been established with a recommended route. Santa Claus himself will also be stopping in Downtown Grimsby on his sleigh to greet those who drive by, it said.

Accompanying Santa will be the Grimsby Firefighters Association, collecting food for the Grimsby Benevolent Fund’s Christmas Hamper Program. The Eastbound lane of Main St. W from Ontario St. to Christie St. will be closed from 3 p.m.-10 p.m. Dec. 5 to accommodate Santa’s visit.

The Santa Claus Parade Committee in Grimsby cancelled its traditional Santa Claus parade and replaced it with a reverse parade this year. It also expanded its annual event by dubbing the entire season, ‘Holiday of Hope’.

The reconfigured project, set for Saturday Dec. 5 (today) 5pm to 9pm will have a “support local” theme as a reminder of how critical it is to support local businesses and those in need this year.

Santa Claus Reverse Parade

Since the Niagara Region is now in Ontario’s Orange-Restrict tier to fight COVID-19, and gathering limits have been reduced, the reimagined parade will have static floats. Residents will drive a pre-planned route and visit 8-10 Christmas installations. Usually, spectators line up on Livingston Ave. and Main Street in Grimsby. The new drive-by approach ensures parade revellers can stay socially distanced from each other.

Pedestrian gatherings will also be restricted along the parade route during the event to keep everyone safe. The Grimsby Downtown Improvement Area, the Niagara police, and Grimsby Fire Department will support the closure that is expected to take place from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the downtown strip closing the northbound lane of Main St. West, from Ontario St. to Christie St. The parade will be supervised by paid-duty police officers. Road signs will also be arranged by town staff.

Prior to the event, the town will post a pre-published map with a recommended route. This will happen closer to the date of the parade as locations and the route are still being finalized. The Bench News will report this information when available.

Support Local Families

Of course, Santa Claus will be in attendance this year too. The Grimsby Fire Department will be at Santa’s static float where they’ll be collecting donations for the Grimsby Benevolent Fund’s Christmas Hamper program. It’s been a difficult year for all. Contributions made to GBF (formally know as the Grimsby Benevolent Fund Community Services) will help meet the increased need for supporting residents in need this holiday season.

Prior to the reverse parade, donations will also be accepted at the Peach King Centre. Anyone can drop in a donate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m on the day of the parade. Food bags will be included in the November 26th edition of News Now.

‘Shop local’ theme

The Santa Claus Parade Committee is also encouraging residents to make a special effort to support local businesses in any way they can on parade day. Residents are asked to drop into a favorite store to pick up a gift, or grab a take-out meal from a local restaurant. Some might want to browse local shops online too. All these actions are a great way to help revive the local economy that’s been hit hard by the pandemic.

See a growing list of holiday special offers from local businesses here.

The town has further information on the web, visit the Grimbsy Santa Claus Parade page.