Nelson succumbs to Santa madness

Hall Street Plaza was packed to capacity as Christmas-crazed youngster lined up to see St. Nick.

Santa Claus was ready with the candy canes as youngsters and their families packed into Hall St. Plaza on Saturday evening to meet the beloved North Pole resident

It was beautifully bonkers.

First Nelson Mayor Deb Kozak came galloping past in a fairy tale carriage, swaddled in a luxurious white coat like the Queen of Winter. It was snowing, just slightly, as the Santa Claus parade made its way up Baker Street on Saturday evening.

Then came the bagpipers, led by kilt-wearing Selkirk College president Angus Graeme, and the local fire department in their ladder truck. Sparky the fire dog waved from his perch alongside firefighter Leo Grypma. Kokanee Mountain Zipline invited their yeti mascot and local cadets marched alongside their float. City councillor Michael Dailly zipped along in a horse-drawn cart, and Christmas music echoed into the cold evening air.

And then came Santa.

Once again, the beloved North Pole resident made his first appearance in the Kootenays shortly after the first snowfall. Along with his wife, Mrs. Claus, he greeted residents with friendly waves while the hundreds of children lined along the sidewalks went absolutely berserk, screaming their affection for the jolly, gift-granting philanthropist.

Once the parade reached Hall Street Plaza, Saint Nick was escorted to a dais overlooking the crowd and held court with the children of Nelson one by one. He took the time to ask for their requests and handed out candy canes to each lucky youngster, reminding them of their moral duty to listen to their parents and be extra good over the holidays.

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