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The Knights of Pythias are gearing up for the annual Santa Claus Parade in Wallaceburg, which is set to take place on Saturday, November 18, at 2 p.m.

Jerry Blake, co-chair for this year’s parade, says they are celebrating Canada’s 150th this year with a ‘Pioneer Days’ theme.

“Some old to modern ways of representing Christmas,” Blake said.

The route for the parade will stay the same as previous years: Starting on Arnold Street heading north and proceeding on Dufferin Avenue, continuing on James Street, to Nelson Street, turning at Elgin Street and concluding at the St. Clair Catholic District School Board Parking Lot on Elgin Street.

Blake said the parade is free to enter and they will begin to line up at 1 p.m., before the parade begins at 2 p.m.

He said people can just show up on November 18 to take part, but if they want to be included in the float judging, they will need to register beforehand.

“We have three prizes for the top three floats,” Blake said.

“If you are interested in being judged you have to get an entry form from myself, you can go online and get one or if you are just going in for the fun of it you can just show up on November 18.”

Blake said lawn mowers are still going be included in the parade, but they are no longer going after the world record.

“There is a few people that are die-hard that like to put the lawn mowers in, so we are going to let them in,” he said.

“I think we are going to have two or three marching bands this year, so that is more that we usually have. The ‘Big Red Machine’ from Port Huron will definitely be there. The street machines… they are going to put cars in, weather permitting. Just like muscle cars, antique cars. It’s a car club that formed in Wallaceburg but is starting to include Chatham. It is getting bigger. They have only been at it for a year or so.”

Blake said the K of P are continuing the tradition of holding a day-time parade.

“The reason we do it is because the original guys that started it, we followed their lead,” he said.

“It is in the daytime for the kids. They don’t like to have it at night. You have to have generators and lights and everything and we feel it makes it harder to get floats. Every year we talk about it, and it is a close vote, but we always still end up with the day parade. So the children can still go to bed at their normal time.”

Blake said the Chatham-Kent Fire Department will be in the parade, collecting canned goods and non-perishable food items for the food bank. Also, employees with Canada Post will be accepting ‘Letters to Santa Claus’ during the parade as well.

He said Taylor’s Variety in Wallaceburg is also accepting extra and left-over Halloween candy at their store, which will be handed out during the parade.

The festivities get started at the K of P Hall, located at 225 Nelson Street in Wallaceburg, on November 18 with ‘Breakfast with Santa.’ It starts at 8 a.m. and runs to 11 a.m.. Cost is $6 for adults and kids that are 12 and over, children 11 and under are free.

Dawne Mudford is set to be the parade marshal as well.

To register a float in the parade call Blake at 519-358-3983, or Bob Mix, co-chair, at 519-358-2436.