Santa gets a unique Esquimalt parade in Songhees canoe

Santa Claus ditched his sleigh in Esquimalt’s Christmas parade Sunday evening, opting instead to ride in a Songhees canoe with Lekwungen dancers.

The canoe was the last in a line of floats, marching groups and cyclists that represented community groups, faith groups, private companies, police and government.

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The 14th annual parade started rolling at 5 p.m. on Esquimalt Road at Canteen Road and made its way to the McDonald’s next to Archie Browning Sports Centre.

Bill Koch, 86, made the short trip down from his room in a retirement residence on the parade route to enjoy the spectacle with his daughter, Lorianne.

“I was in the navy for 39 years, so I like to hear marching music and any kind of music that gets you going,” said Koch, who has lived in Esquimalt for more than half a century.

Lorianne said the parade sets the mood for Christmas in the community “no matter what your age is.”

After the parade, families could enjoy hot dogs by donation, singing, and a visit with Santa Claus in the parking lot outside the sports centre.


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