The Best Santa Claus and Christmas Parades in Vancouver
The music, the floats, the lights, and the anticipation of seeing the big man himself...we love it all. Here's where to catch a Christmas-themed parade around Vancouver this winter.
New Westminster Santa Claus Parade
New Westminster will be bringing the festivities into focus on the first weekend in December with a Santa Claus parade on Saturday, December 2 followed by a day of Christmas fun in Downtown New West. The celebrations will culminate with the official tree lighting at Hyack Square.
The 14th Annual Santa Claus Parade
Happening on Sunday, December 3, this downtown Vancouver parade draws huge crowds every year! It usually begins at 12 pm, with family fun starting at 10 am, but you'll want to keep your eye on the official website for more details. You can drop off food donations and kids can get their faces painted, decorate gingerbread, and try their hand at balloon twisting. Plus, check out the music, dancing and the fun after the parade, too!
Surrey Santa Parade
If you can't get enough of Christmas parades, you're in luck because Surrey's evening event is a 2-for-1 deal. The front of the parade is a collection of trucks and big-rigs, colourfully lit up, which looks great in the twilight. After the cross-city vehicles have departed you can look forward to a traditional display of floats, community dance groups, town mascots and, you guessed it, Santa Claus. Donations, in canned food or cash form, are gratefully received and benefit the Surrey Food Bank and Surrey Christmas Bureau. It's all happening on Sunday, December 3 at 5 pm.
Carol Ships Parade of Lights
Vancouver's floating Christmas parade is definitely one of the more unique ways to bring in the holiday season, but having grown in momentum—starting with just a single lit-up boat fifty years ago—it's also a very popular one. There is a whole calendar of events for this festive flotilla, including dinner and dance cruises. Some serve traditional Christmas dinners with turkey and all the trimmings while others have DJs and dance floors. Depending on the night, you can catch great views of the floating festivities from Granville Island, False Creek and Coal Harbour, among many others. It sets sail on December 1st and continues to 23rd, 2017 - but stay tuned for more info (as websites aren't currently up-to-date).
Festival of Trees
It's a parade...of Christmas trees. Every year, the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver is transformed into a magical winter forest, with trees beautifully ornamented and displayed over the holiday period. The trees are decorated and sponsored by individual volunteers in support of BC Children's Hospital. The trees are on display from November 30 until January 1, seven days a week until 11:00 pm. There is no admission cost but a charitable donation is encouraged.