Maple Ridge’s annual Christmas Festival and Santa Claus Parade not be taking place in its traditional form this year.
This year the Maple Ridge Christmas Festival Society has teamed up with the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society for a drive-through fundraising event.
Drive-through for Santa Cause will take place on Dec. 5 and will be an opportunity for the community to donate much needed gift cards to the Christmas Hamper Society that will be used for Christmas presents for children in need in the community.
On September 22 a safe containing around $10,000 worth of gift cards, among other items, was stolen from the Christmas Hamper Society’s office.
“We needed to find enough gift cards for the children, we’re thinking, from 700 to 800 families. That was how (this collaboration) started. That was the seed,” explained Lorraine Bates, chair of the Christmas Hamper Society.
Vehicles will be able to drive along a path at the Albion Fairgrounds through a series of stationary floats that will be set up along each side of the route.
“Instead of people watching the floats go by it will be the floats watching cars go by,” said Bates.
Zones will be set up for floats and everybody in those zones will have to be in costume.
Bates wants the whole community to be engaged in the event.
“So for families or organizations who don’t have a float or don’t want to put on a little display down there, they can come with their Christmas lights for one day and decorate one of the trees,”she explained.
For those that would like to set up a float, they can choose how much space they will need and they can decorate that area.
Decorating will be done the morning of the event.
There will also be a non-perishable food drop off at the event for the Friends In Need Food Bank.
Santa Clause will be waving to children from his workshop.
Nobody will be allowed out of their vehicles, said Bates.
More information about the event will be available closer to the date. However, Bates is happy about this years partnership and wants to make it bigger and better than ever.
“I just want to try to bring Christmas back,” she said.
It’s COVID, she said, but it’s really the Grinch.
Anyone wanting to participate can phone 604-463-6922 or go to the society’s Facebook page.