The 2018 Santa Claus Parade (Rotary Santa Parade of Lights) is set to launch this Friday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m.
The annual Rotary Santa Parade of Lights, a joint venture between the Rotary Club of Portage la Prairie and the Portage and District Chamber of Commerce, saw record-breaking numbers of floats participate in the march down the avenue in 2017. Thousands of enthusiastic Portagers lined the avenue to enjoy the Christmas spectacle.
While Santa, Rudolph and company have reserved the customary tail end of the parade, marshalling for the 2018 Parade of Lights will take place in the Stride Place west parking lot between 6- 7 p.m. Organizers say if you wish to be near the front of the parade, get there early.
You probably already have a favourite spot along the route and it is also suggested to arrive reasonably early to make sure you get a good line of sight.
The parade will leave Stride Place, travel west on the crescent (the crescent will not be a part of the Parade of Lights route). Floats and attractions will travel on the crescent to 20 St. where it will turn north to Saskatchewan Ave. The actual Parade of Lights route is along Saskatchewan Ave. from 20 St. W. to 9 St. NE where it will disband.
Rotarians will be collecting toys and canned goods on behalf of the Salvation Army. Citizens are encouraged to fill bags previously distributed in mailboxes throughout the city with donated food items or toys. The bags can be taken directly to the Salvation Army or brought to the parade where they will be collected and brought to the local organization.