Don’t miss the North Dundas Parade of Lights!

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A decades long tradition returns for another exciting year this Saturday. The North Dundas Parade of Lights is sure to add a twinkle to every watching eye as it rolls down the streets of Winchester on December 2. 

There were 35 floats and counting registered to participate in the parade at the time of writing, suggesting that this year’s event is sure to be packed with fun. As usual, there will be a float contest with winners in six categories: 1) Best Overall, 2) Best Business Float, 3) Best Non-Profit Float, 4) Best Agricultural Float, 4) Most Lights, and 5) People’s Choice. 

The 2.5 km long parade route is as follows: it starts at North Dundas Municipal Building, north on St. Lawrence St., right on York St., left on Albert St., left on Main St., and ends with a left into the ‘exit’ lane of the Sam Ault Arena.

As usual, the parade day is not just about the Parade. The entire day will be packed with lots of family fun. Downtown shops will be open all day – a perfect opportunity to get a start on your Christmas shopping (or finish it!). There will be a Vendor and Trade Fair at the Arena from 9 am to 4 pm, with opportunities to buy a photo with Santa. Drop off bins will be available at the Vendor and Trade Fair for food and toy donations, and volunteers wearing vests and ID tags will also be walking the parade route collecting monetary donations to be shared with the North Dundas Christmas Fund, which puts together Christmas baskets for those in need each year. 

A junior B hockey game will take place at the Arena at 2:15 pm (Winchester Hawks vs Perth), as well as a chance to make your own Christmas ornament or Christmas cookie in the Old Town Hall lobby from 10 am to 3 pm. The Old Town Hall theatre will feature a Rock the Arts Puppet Show free of charge at 11 am and 1 pm, as well as Magical Marvin at 2 pm (also free). 

The Winchester Legion branch on Main Street will have a euchre tournament from 12:30 pm – 4 pm, with registration taking place between noon and 12:30 pm, at a cost of $20 per team. The Legion will also host a parade after party from 8 pm – midnight. Admission is free, with $5 chilli available. 

The Parade itself will begin at 7 pm, beginning at the Township building. There will be a fire pit at Sweet Corner Park, free hot chocolate, and washrooms available at Southgate Church, and coffee, apple cider, and cookies for sale at Simply Baked Catering. 

The Parade of Lights has been an ongoing annual tradition in Winchester for decades. A committee member who spoke with the Times said that the Parade was started by Joel Steele, who got the idea after hearing about a nighttime Christmas parade elsewhere. The Parade of Lights became the “Display of Lights” in 2020, and again in 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This allowed spectators to remain in their own vehicles to drive past stationary floats in Winchester (2020) and South Mountain (2021). Last year, the traditional parade returned, and is sure to be a hit again this year!

 

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