The Maple Ridge Santa Claus parade and festival went off without a hitch Saturday despite torrential rain.
“It was so sad with the rain,” said Dianne Enns, with the Maple Ridge Christmas Festival Society and who has been involved with the parade for nine years.
“It was the worst rain ever. But the crowds were still so amazing on 224th [Street]. And apparently Dewdney [Trunk Road] had a bigger crowd than ever, that we were really thrilled with.”
Enns was impressed with all the groups that took part in the parade.
“They were troopers,” she said.
“It was a pretty steady rain last year, but it was not the downpour that we got at one point,” this year.
The crowds were similar to last year along the parade route, but the park was quiet for the Christmas in the Park festival.
“I would say we had less than a thousand all day,” said added.
But it was steady around the free hot chocolate tent, manned by the 1st Yennadon Scout group. They were on their last container of hot chocolate by the time the event ended.
Also almost all of the popcorn was gone except for two small boxes.
Entertainment director Brett Johnson and The Art of Music donated all of the sound equipment for the main stage and organized the entertainment lineup for the bandstand. Although he didn’t get a chance to perform himself as the crowds dispersed following the parade.
Next year, Enns is hoping more people will be interested in joining the festival committee. This year there was only four of them organizing the event.
The next AGM takes place in February.
Winners from the 2016 Santa Claus Parade:
Band – Royal Canadian Legion Branch 88 Colour Party
Animals – Otter 4H Llama Club
Mascot – Maple Ridge Fire Dept.
Community Non-Profit – Ridge Meadows Search & Rescue
Youth Non-Profit – 1st Haney Scout Group
Dance Group – Dance FX School of Dance
Commercial A – City of Port Coquitlam
Commercial B – Small Steps Childcare
Sports Group – RMMSA Pride 07 & Rage 01
Best Float Overall – 1st Haney Scout Group
“Congratulations to all the winners and a great big thank you to all the float entries for coming out despite to the rain to help us entertain the city of Maple Ridge and the surrounding areas,” said Enns.