Toronto Santa Claus Parade 2016

by Maria on December 6th, 2016

Several days before the parade, we started monitoring weather reports for Toronto. It was looking unsettled, windy and cold. Just before the parade started, there was a burst of wind-driven snow and graupel. During the parade, it was still cold and windy with snowflakes swirling in the air.

Oh, what a difference a day makes! When we left Caledonia, it was almost 60 degrees and some of us were worried about keeping our dish-to-pass chilled until dinner. When we returned a day later, the parking lot was ankle deep in snow. Doug's wife, Wendy, and Art's wife, Jean, brought brooms and helped clear snow off cars. It was worse going east and several of our members had to drive that direction to get home. Marcia and Bob decided to spend the night in Caledonia; Josh drove an hour and forty-five minutes to get home, and Mike W. drove over two hours!

There were three first-timers - Allie, Matt H. and Bob E. - and there were four members who have marched in this parade all 25 years - Josh, Marcia, Maria and Scott M. Two of our Toronto friends joined us; Robert played trombone and Robin played quad-toms. Some of our members played alternate instruments to help balance the band: Mike W. played sousaphone, Steve played bass drum, and Bob played F horn. Karen had a concert commitment Saturday night, so she rode up with the Attica High School Band and rode home with us. Josh went to Toronto a day early and played three parades - in one day - with Prime Time Brass.

We wanted to do something special as a tribute to Don Pullyblank, a charter member who died in October. Don's daughter, Marcia, plays clarinet, and she came up with idea of having someone carry Don's valve trombone in the parade. But who could we get to march four miles carrying an instrument he doesn't even play? Marcia's husband, Bob, of course! Wearing Don's Santa's workshop apron and reindeer antlers, Bob carried the valve trombone. Bob P. even showed him how to hold it so that it looked like he was playing.

This marching season is quickly coming to an end. Our next parade is the Caledonia Hometown Holidays Parade on Saturday, December 3. It will be your last chance to see us this year.

Posted in Performances, Stories    Tagged with Santa Claus Parade, Doug, Art, Marcia, Josh, Mike W., Allie, Matt H., Maria, Scott M., Steve, Bob, Karen R., Toronto


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