Hundreds line street for Santa Claus Parade

Despite the downpour, people showed up for annual downtown tradition

Santa Claus travels down 224th Street in Maple Ridge Saturday evening during the annual Santa Claus Parade. Hundreds of people turned out for the parade and Christmas in the Park despite the damp weather.

Santa Claus travels down 224th Street in Maple Ridge Saturday evening during the annual Santa Claus Parade. Hundreds of people turned out for the parade and Christmas in the Park despite the damp weather.

Hundreds of people lined 224th Street last Saturday to welcome Santa Claus to town.

Although the Maple Ridge Christmas Festival was slow to start, the event picked up at 5:30 as people came out for the parade.

“I think the people who live in Maple Ridge and know Maple Ridge come out rain or shine,” said Natalie Freer, publicity coordinator for the Maple Ridge Christmas Festival.

She was pleased with the overall turnout for the festival and the parade, which had fewer floats than the previous year, but larger groups and performances.

“It was probably actually better, because it wasn’t extremely long it was kind of that right amount of time, considering that people were standing in the rain.”

The Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association’s Christmas Market had 24 vendors register, but eight didn’t show up.

“But the  people that were there did really well because every time it rained people would just come in by big flocks because it was dry, we had hot apple cider and we had live music and the kids could warm up for a little bit,”  said Ineke Boekhorst, executive director of the DMRBIA.