The Santa parade showing up in every ward in the city? That's what is being discussed

By Pepper Parr

February 6th, 2023



How does a debate on continuing the Holiday Market that took place in 2021 and 2022 turn into a discussion about the Santa Claus Parade?

That was an easy question to answer.

The Holiday Market wasn’t exactly a raging success – weather had more to do with the event’s failure to get real lift off.

Suddenly, everyone wants the Santa Claus parade in their ward. The Santa Claus parade has taken place for more than 45 years in Burlington. Organized by a citizens group that works out of the city’s Festivals and Events office it is the premier holiday event in the city.

It looks as if it was Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns who came up with the idea that the Holiday Market could take place at the same time as the Santa Claus Parade – which is held a little earlier in December when the weather had in the past decade been warmer.

There were of course all kinds of details to be worked out but the idea was getting a decent reception from Council members – until we learned that there was a movement to hold the parade in ward 1 and then also in ward 6

No one saw that coming.

The City’s Festivals department is now going to have to work out just what they are going to do with the Santa parade in 2023.

Santa had to get taken around in a fire truck during the worst of the pandemic.

In 2021 and 2022 the parade amounted to a fire truck roaming through the streets of the city with a Santa in the jump seat waving away.

Councillor Galbraith wants to see Santa tootling along Plains Road

Councillor Bentivegna wants to see Santa in ward 6. Hows that for delivering service to the residents?

As the debate was moving along Councillor Galbraith said that “he and Councillor Bentivenga “ have been approached by the Santa Claus parade. Group and there may be a Santa Claus parade moving to ward one and potentially Ward six in future years.

“So you may want to put when the Santa Claus parade runs through the downtown as a slight amendment to this direction. Because I don’t think it will matter if it’s running down Plains Road when the Holiday Market is going to be scheduled.

“So, I’m just going to say no.

“I assume that this direction is to align those two when the Santa Claus parade is downtown. I assume that’s if it’s scheduled anywhere else it doesn’t really matter right ?

Kearns popped up with: “My understanding is that when material changes occur to a previously approved festival or event that those changes have to come before Council. And I think we could explore that at that time. But we can defer that question to the to the director of recreation, community and culture if you wish

Councillor Paul Sharman brings up a possible force majeure

Councillor Sharman then piped in with: “I just have a couple items of feedback. I’m totally on board here. So dealing with that previous question about the parade. I didn’t have that in mind. It could be going elsewhere. But I think we just need to, perhaps a suggestion for councillor Kearns to modify the word contingent.

Because what if there’s like a force majeure with Santa Claus parade one year and then we can’t have the Holiday Market because of this staff direction so how about just requesting alignment or expecting alignments with the annual Santa Claus parade and then if it should come to pass that the Santa Claus parade moves, then we’re still bulletproof there. So that would be my first suggestion to Councillor Kearns.”

You could see where this discussion was going; a force majeure for the Santa Claus parade?

A force majeure clause in a contract releases a party from fulfilling their contractual obligations when circumstances beyond their control impede them.

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