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Sydney Mines parade kicks off holiday season


SYDNEY MINES – The distinction of hosting the first Santa Claus parade of the season will once again go to Sydney Mines when the parade heads to the streets of the community Saturday.

Sharon Cousins and Sophia Viva prepare for the start of the 2012 Sydney Mines Santa Claus parade. The Sydney Mines parade returns Saturday to kick off parade season across the CBRM.

Parade formation begins at 1:30 p.m. followed by the parade at 2 p.m. that is expected to feature a variety of community groups and organizations showing off their Christmas spirit to the thousands of people who will line the streets of Sydney Mines to view the parade.

"This one is always done the first Saturday after Remembrance Day and it is always the first one in the CBRM that gets done," said Emily Gray, the Northside program co-ordinator for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

"I think it starts to get people into the spirit of things and thinking about Christmas. I don't know if it attracts anymore people because it is the first one, but it does kind of get them into the spirit."

The parade route will go from Shore Road, left onto Main Street, left on MacKay Street, before ending at Butt Street.

After the parade participants and those watching are invited to the Sydney Mines Seniors and Pensioners Hall on Fraser Avenue for an awards ceremony and to meet with Santa.

Treats will be handed out to the children and everyone gets to enjoy hot chocolate.

Though it is last minute, clubs, organizations, groups, and individuals are still encouraged to become a part of the parade.

Safety rules to remember for those who do enter the parade include no throwing of candy, gum, treats or objects of any kind from the parade entry while the parade is in progress.

Treats or giveaways may be passed out along the sidewalk area along the parade route. Persons passing out treats must not be part of an entry.

All entries must also obey and follow any requests made by parade officials while in the parade and at the formation site.

There's an open theme for the parade with one exception – entries cannot consist of Santa Claus as part of their theme.

Gray said parade entries were still coming in as of late Thursday.

"We really don't know how many we'll have because not everybody registers through us and sometimes they just show up. I know the last few years, it has been a good parade so I'm hoping for the same and the weather forecast sounds like it will be good."

The forecast for Saturday is calling for a mixture of sunshine and clouds and temperatures around 9 C.

Following the Sydney Mines parade, the next Northside parade will be North Sydney's evening parade, Dec. 7 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

There are 10 other parades and light up festivities on the calendar across the Cape Breton Regional Municipality between now and Christmas, each one hosted by different communities and groups.

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