One of the brightest evenings of the year is set to kick off the holiday season in Sault Ste. Marie, with the return of the annual Parker ACE Hardware Parade of Lights Christmas procession Friday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. in Downtown Sault Ste. Marie.
For over 20 years now, the Parade of Lights has helped usher in the Christmas season in the Soo with spectacular floats decorated in lights, colors and accompanied by holiday music. This year’s parade will continue its familiar route along Ashmun Street before culminating with the lighting of the Christmas tree at City Hall on Portage Avenue.
Floats will lineup at Pat’s Food (formerly Soo SuperValu) on Court Street around 6 p.m. The procession will turn onto Ashmun Street and head north until turning east on Portage Avenue. The whole parade and tree lighting generally last around one hour.
As with years past, the parade goes on regardless of the weather, so remember to dress warm and make sure the little spectators are bundled tightly. No matter the conditions, the Parker ACE Hardware Parade of Lights delivers one of the most unforgettable nights of the whole year in the Soo.
This year’s Parker ACE Hardware Parade of Lights is expected to be the largest iteration of the event yet. In addition upwards of two dozen floats, there will be horses, emergency vehicles and special guests. This includes the guests of honor’s chariot – Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. Santa and the new mayor, Don Gerrie, will have the privilege of helping light the tree at City Hall. (Attendees and float participants are asked to not dress as Santa to avoid confusion for the children in attendance.)
The tree lighting at City Hall will feature caroling and entertainment from members of the Madrigal dinner. The Salvation Army will also be on hand, offering hot chocolate to help further capture the mood.
Another holiday tradition that the Parade of Lights welcomes to Downtown Sault is the holiday shopping season. On the following day, many downtown businesses will be involved with Small Business Saturday. Over 30 stores will be providing sales, deals, and discounts on the locally-themed shopping day.
Do you have a favorite memory of the Parker ACE Hardware Parade of Lights or are you going this year? Tag us in your photos of with #ilovethesoo so we can share in the fun! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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Small Business Saturday in Sault Ste. Marie!