Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly, Santa Claus is Coming to Town!!!

    103rd annual Santa Claus Parade a Holiday Tradition

    TORONTO, Oct. 25 /CNW/ - Special guests were invited today inside the top
secret Santa Claus Parade workshop for a sneak peek at what Toronto can expect
at this year's holiday extravaganza.
    On Sunday, November 18, 2007, at 12:30 p.m., children of all ages will
eagerly line the streets of Toronto for the 103rd annual Santa Claus Parade to
catch a glimpse of jolly ol' St. Nick.
    "I'm so excited to be back in Toronto, getting ready for this year's
Parade," said Santa Claus, in town for today's special sneak preview. "Each
year the Parade has something new to offer. Seeing the joy and happiness on
everyone's faces really makes all the hard work worth while. It's what the
holiday season is all about."
    This year the Parade is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its celebrity
clowns. To commemorate this special year, the Santa Claus Parade is expanding
its clown roster to include junior celebrity clowns. The 50 participating
junior clowns will be accompanying the approximate 200 celebrity clowns
partaking in this year's parade.
    "The celebrity clowns are a major contributor to the fun, excitement and
financial stability of the parade," explains Ron Barbaro, Parade co-chair and
celebrity clown founder. "What better way to celebrate this milestone
anniversary than by adding a new tradition with the inclusion of our junior
    Since 1983 the celebrity clown program has been the Parade's biggest
source of non-float income, raising almost $2.5 million in the past 25 years.
Each celebrity clown donates $1,000 to participate in the Parade and a $500
donation is made for each junior clown.
    "The biggest thrill of this parade is the five miles of smiles," adds
Barbaro. "It's truly a magical experience. We couldn't do it without the help
of our sponsors, celebrity clowns, volunteers and other supporters."
    The Santa Claus Parade strives to make each Parade a new and different
    "The Parade is constantly trying to make each year bigger and better,"
explains Alf Iannarelli, Parade general manager and creative director.
"Audiences can watch out for great, new eye-catching floats, including the
Giant Purple Dragon, Mickey's Playhouse, a tasty Gingerbread House and viewers
can also 'Surf the Net' with a cool new float."
    The 5.7 kilometre parade, which consists of 24 floats, 24 bands,
200 clowns more than 1,500 parade volunteers and, of course, Santa Claus
himself, begins at the intersection of Bloor and Christie. It continues south,
down the northbound lanes of University Avenue, through the central core of
the city, and finishes at the Flatiron Building at Front St. and Church St.
Wheelchair access is available at Berczy Park (west of the Flatiron Building).
    "The Toronto Santa Claus Parade really symbolizes the start of the
holiday season," said George A. Cohon, Parade co-chair and celebrity clown.
"It's an honour to be a part of this treasured Toronto tradition that's not
just something kids love and enjoy, but people of all ages."

    The Santa Claus Parade is the largest parade in Canada and the most
popular holiday parade of its kind in the world. More information on the
Parade, including a detailed map of the Parade route, can be found at

For further information:

For further information: For more media information, to arrange an
interview, or request photos please contact: Valerie Mendonca, (416) 642-7959
or Andrea Dart, (416) 642-7971

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