Happy 60th to the Lions Club Santa Claus Parade

Margo Pfeiff – Lions Club

The parade starts at 1 pm. Sat Dec 3. Most floats should have arrived by 1245. Starting on Victoria. st near the community centre heading towards Knowlton Rd

After a 2-year pandemic hiatus, the parade is finally back on December 3rd. This following months of hard work by a small group of 21 Lion members and generous “friends of Lions” that have been busy chasing permits, arranging safety measures, creating 250 candy bags for kids and much more. 

On the first Saturday of December, as they have for the past 60 years or so, hundreds of folks and families from as far afield as Waterloo, Cowansville and Sutton will line the snowy, slushy, rainy or icy winter streets of Knowlton, happily stomping their feet to stay warm. 

With flashing lights and siren bursts, Old Betsy – Knowlton’s original 1953 fire truck – will lead the annual Lions Club Christmas Parade, a colourful and quirky collection of 20 to 30 floats handmade by local businesses, clubs, farm owners and creative individuals for the simple reason of bringing joy to other community members. 

For a few hours that afternoon we are one big family. There are no old or young, no newcomers or old timers, just community members cheerfully gathered as one. Many people don’t realize that this much-loved event that has taken place since 1959 has always been organized and funded solely by the Knowlton Lions Club. 

The day before the parade, the reindeer-and-Christmas-tree-studded Lions Club float that brings up the rear of the parade will be assembled at Proconstruc on Knowlton Road. This for the 15th year in a row, carrying Errol Frechette wearing his Santa Claus costume. The parade starts at Windmill Plastics and after journeying through the main streets of Knowlton in front of an excited crowd, it ends at Knowlton Academy. This year, due to Covid concerns, there will be no personal Santa visits. “People don’t realize how big an undertaking the parade is,” says long-time Lions member Bev Crandall. 

The Knowlton Lions Club, formed in 1956, is at its lowest number of members in years. Along with distributing Christmas baskets to the needy, bringing holiday cheer to the housebound with poinsettias and staging the popular, fundraising Lions Garage Sale every spring, it is a busy and generous charity composed of community members focussed on helping our own community. And we could use your help, whether it’s by donation or joining us by becoming a member. “The parade is heartwarming for us,” says parade organizer Ken Battley. “We Lions are so happy to watch it bring out the best in people around us.”

For online donations, with charitable receipts issued through www.canadahelps.org, search the key words “Lions Club Knowlton” or mail a cheque to: Knowlton Lions Club, Box 3766, Knowlton, QC J0E 1V0. To join the Knowlton Lions Club, send us a message via the Knowlton Lions Club Facebook page.