Tonight it was just the two of us as our son is away at a tournament (and daughter at university), so being as it was Friday night, I suggested we go out for supper. I didn't much feel like making anything, and I didn't want anything fancy, just good food.
We decided to go to one of our usual "hole in the wall" favourite restaurants in a nearby small town. As we drove up, we noticed a lot more cars on the main street than usual. The Christmas lights along the street were already up and glowing, so we thought perhaps it was a lighting ceremony this evening.
We went in to find a spot to eat (it is not a huge restaurant, so if you don't make a reservation, you might be taking your chances). Luckily there was still a spot that wasn't reserved. We ordered a draft beer each and thought about what we would like. The roast beef and Yorkshire pudding was one of the specials, so husband ordered that. I second-guessed myself and ending up ordering the barbecue Cornish hen, and shouldn't have. It was ok, but not really what I was hankering for.
As we sat with our food, we heard other people talking and realized that this evening was going to be the annual Santa Claus parade. We were quite close to the window, so we could see the parade from our table. We finished and paid for our meal before the parade was over, so I took some pictures to give you an idea of what a typical small town / rural Santa Claus parade is like.
The quintessential shiny red fire truck had already gone through, so no picture of that. I also didn't get the local high school float of a handful of the kids in the band playing a Christmas carol or two. Thankfully, today was one of the mildest days (and evenings) we've had, so the onlookers, as well as the parade participants, weren't freezing. There have been many Santa Claus parades that required winter coats, snow pants, hats, mittens, boots, scarves, and a lot of stamping of feet or sitting in cars with the engine running and the heat on!
Here's a sampling from the end of the parade:
There are always animals - this one being a donkey wearing, if I'm not mistaken, a tree skirt as a cape.
It wouldn't be Christmas without a goat wearing a shirt. I apologize for the blurry quality of some of these photos. Trust me, it's a goat.
Pretty self-explanatory. This is the same vet service that took care of Scooter when he had to have his tail amputated, and Samson when he accidentally got a stick caught in his throat. I think we helped pay for part of this float.
Here is a giant grocery cart (those are full sized humans inside) pulling a regular sized grocery cart. This particular small town lost its one and only grocery store several years ago when it closed up. Thankfully, a few years later, it reopened under a new company. A town without a grocery store just can't survive, especially for those who do not drive.
The theme for the parade this year must have been gingerbread because there were a lot of gingerbread people and gingerbread houses.
When Santa had passed, husband and I walked to where we had parked the car and knew it would be a wait until we could pull out and proceed home (we were also on the main street). Here are some images of parade participants on their way home as well that I caught as we were waiting in our vehicle.
-and just to one-up the goat, here is a Christmas sheep. Its owners shouted Merry Christmas to us as we put the window down to take the picture.
Also in this community is a little store which always has a charming window display with moving figures. Last year's was featured in this post, but I think this year's is much more quaint. The mice moved as they decorated their little home.
Now we are home and the wind is just howling outside, although no snow is in the air. I have taken the advice of some of you wonderful readers and have begun to watch River on Netflix. I love it already! I even talked husband into watching with me and he concurs.
I hope you liked the glimpse of small town Ontario's early Christmas celebration. It is no "Macy's Day Parade", but it's predictable and hokey, and everybody waves and smiles. I know that many of you are celebrating your American Thanksgiving this weekend. I hope it has been lovely so far!