By Shelly Wiebe
Albert DeWaele, a member of the Langton Lions Club, tells the Good News that the Langton Santa Claus Parade has been a tradition for at least four decades and that through rain, sleet, snow and ice, it always runs on the second Saturday in December, making this a tradition you can count on.
“The Langton Lions organize the parade, but the community groups and schools are what really make it special,” says Al.
“We get such a great response every year with the different clubs, sports teams and service groups putting together floats to participate. After so many years, it’s one of those events that could run itself, but that’s thanks in large part to the community and its support.”
Above: Langton Public School filled their float with smiling faces and festive costumes as snow falls around them. The morning rain changed to snow just in time for the parade, putting parade-goers in the mood for Christmas. Photos by Jessica Tulpin
The parade starts at the arena, comes up to the edge of the village and then down Highway 59. On average it takes 40 minutes for the parade of 30-plus floats to drive by, ending with the much anticipated Santa Claus float, which is always the fan favourite.
“After the parade, kids and their families are invited back to the Langton Community Centre to enjoy some hot chocolate and take a turn on Santa’s lap,” says Al. “It’s the excitement on the kids’ faces that really keeps us going year after year.”
Currently the Langton Lions Club has 25 members, three of which are new in 2019. On top of the parade, the group organizes Christmas Baskets in partnership with the Salvation Army each year.
“We do collections through the local schools, and usually have a need for 25 to 30 baskets each Christmas in the Walsingham, Houghton and Delhi area.”
During a time when giving seems on the forefront of our minds, Al says that he is always humbled by the generosity of this community.
“We (the Lions members) were all born and raised here and we all enjoy giving back to the community that we live in. It feels good to see the smiles and to help the families that couldn’t do it on their own.”
December 14th brought with it a mix of rain and snow creating (almost) the perfect weather to ‘Welcome the Big Guy in Red’ and ignite the Christmas Spirit in the hearts of everyone involved. The Langton Lions thank the community for their continued support and excitement this parade brings each year.
See more photos in the current issue of Port Rowan Good News.