Small Town Santa
We just discovered the absolute best way to enjoy a Santa Clause parade. Go to a small town. If you live in a small town already, go to another small town. One where you don’t know anyone and preferably one that you have never been to before.
Millbrook Ontario. Saturday December 10, 2011. I read on Twitter that they were having their annual parade at 1 pm. Since we had missed ALL the other local parades in and around Peterborough, due to preschooler germs, this seemed to be our last chance for the season. With all family members in relatively good health, we set out from our home in the Pdot at 11:27 am. For a 1 pm parade. We arrived in Millbrook at 11:50. Hmmm… Too long to sit in the car with an almost three year old going bonkers straining against the car seat straps in total frustration so we got out and took a walk through town. Now, Millbrook, which is best known for the 4th Line Theater in the summer, has never beckoned to us for a visit. It just seemed to be one of those ‘blink and you missed it’ places off the 115 highway. How wrong we were.
We discovered a little breakfast place – Sylvia’s – and though I am loathe to talk about great finds lest they become over run by other notably less appreciative people, I have to mention it. Simple menu, all day breakfast, kid friendly (they even have sippy cups available should you be a bad parent like me who forgot our booboo’s cup in the car) and a super friendly staff made it the perfect pre-parade pitstop. This was followed by a visit to the Lion’s table, for free cocoa and candy canes and we were ready and raring to see Santa. Dear husband, who cannot pass either a pastry shop or a shoe store without having a ‘sniff’, as he puts it, made a beeline to the Pastry Peddler. Delicious homemade goodies came back out of the shop, including gorgeous gingerbread and sugar plumbs. (I think this large child will have these dancing in his head, come December 24).
On to the parade. A great advantage to small town parades is that there is plenty of sidewalk for everyone. You don’t have to arrive 2 hours ahead of time to stake out a piece of prime viewing real estate. You can just show up. The sirens from the fire trucks herald the start of the parade, friendly townspeople hand out candy and chocolate and one very nice float was even tossing out stuffed animals! Booboo was so thrilled with the bumble bee that flew to her feet that she almost missed Santa himself!
35 minutes later, it was done and we were secured in the warmth of our car, heading home for nap time. It wasn’t too long or overwhelming for the wee face and a relaxing outing was had by all, followed shortly thereafter by a nice long sleep!