Despite a delay, thousands gather to see Santa in annual St. John's Christmas parade

Big Stick, wiener dogs and more were featured in the parade after a week-long delay caused by an armed standoff

The Big Stick, wiener dogs and more were featured after a week-long delay

St. John's Christmas parade goes off without delay

3 months ago
Duration 2:03
Nothing stopped the annual downtown St. John's Christmas parade from going off without a hitch the week. Though delayed from a week ago, thousands turned up to see the floats, Santa and the Big Stick.

After a week-long delay, the annual downtown St. John's Christmas parade went off without a hitch on Sunday.

Over 50,000 people crowded the streets to see Santa Claus and other parade icons. 

"I'm excited to see Big Stick and the wiener dogs," said seven-year-old Louie, while waiting for the parade to start.

"The wieners are so cute."

A large stick of bologna, the size of a human, with eyes and mouth and limbs, waves excitedly toward the camera. Dozens of people can be seen behind him.
The Maple Leaf Big Stick, a fan favorite, brought Christmas cheer to downtown St. John's once again this year. (Henrike Wilhelm/CBC)

The parade was originally slated for a week ago, but an armed standoff on nearby Brazil Street caused a postponement of the event a mere half hour before it was set to begin.

Though Sunday's rescheduled parade went as planned this time around, downtown St. John's special events manager Gaylynne Gulliver was prepared for anything. 

"We always write an emergency plan for this event, we review it all the time," said Gulliver. "We're ready."

A young boy in a santa hat smiles near a hand holding a CBC mic.
Louie was excited to see the Big Stick and the wiener dogs. (Henrike Wilhelm/CBC)

Gulliver said only two groups were unable to attend the postponed parade, with all the other participants taking part as planned. 

The floats, bands, mascots and dogs are small pieces in the bigger picture of the annual event.

The parade raises money and food donations for the Community Food Sharing Association each year. 

Approximately a dozen wiener dogs and their owners are walking down the middle of a street with many onlookers in the background.
The wiener dogs are another yearly favorite for many parade goers. (Henrike Wilhelm/CBC)

"Over the last number of years, we've collected well over $1,000,000 in food," said Gulliver. 

"I think we're up to just a little over $300,000 in cash collected from this event."

Among the many attractions in the parade this year were two Mario-themed floats and a float featuring Ukrainian folk band Kubasonics. 

However, for the kids in attendance, there were many different favourite features. 

Mario and the other characters from the video game franchise are on a float depicting a Mario Kart race, with Mario winning 1st place in the race.
Vale's Mario Kart-themed float was one of two Mario floats in the parade this year. (Henrike Wilhelm/CBC)

"Batman," said five-year-old Allan.

"I liked when Grandma got ran over by a reindeer," said seven-year-old Ben.

Two young boys look toward the camera, the younger and smaller of the two has chocolate stains around his lips.
Lachlan, left, and Will were excited to see Santa and to drink hot chocolate. (Henrike Wilhelm/CBC)

"I like the music," said Will, who attended the parade with his younger brother Lachlan.

For Lachlan, his favourite part of the parade was not a float or even Santa himself. 

"Hot chocolate," he said.

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William Ping


William Ping is a newsreader and journalist with CBC at its bureau in St. John's.

With files from Henrike Wilhelm

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