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First Santa Claus Parade in Timmins in 1949 was a huge regional attraction

With this year’s version of the Santa Claus Parade set for this Saturday in Timmins, we’re going to look back at the first-ever event of its kind in town.

Timmins Museum director-curator Karen Bachmann says the first one was a morning parade on November 26th, 1949.  It was organized by the Porcupine Chamber of Commerce, which also started that year.

The parade theme was “Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes”.

“The Feldman Company let them use all of their warehouses within Schumacher and South Porcupine to store the floats and build them there,” says Bachmann.  “So by the beginning of November, all the floats had already been built, everything was organized, they were ready.”

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Organizers asked the railroad to help bring people in from the region for the event. As Bachmann relates, it resulted in a positive response.

“They actually put a special train on from Kirkland Lake and Cochrane to bring people to Timmins for that parade. They had estimates at 30,000 people in the streets here, which is quite huge, considering there was not 30,000 people living here.”

That organization put on a parade every year into the 1960s.  Next week, we’ll talk about it being revived in the 80s.

The guest of honour brings up the rear at the first Santa Claus Parade in Timmins in 1949. (Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre)
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