Chilliwack’s Christmas parade prepares to hit the streets

Santa Claus and Jamie Davis set to be big draws for annual downtown Christmas parade

Santa Claus is set to make a public appearance in Chilliwack on Saturday night

Santa Claus is set to make a public appearance in Chilliwack on Saturday night

No matter what the weather has planned for Saturday’s Rotary Christmas Parade this Saturday, one thing is for sure.

There will be smiles, laughter and wonder filling the streets of Chilliwack. It’s an annual tradition that Lynn Swanson is looking forward to this year, as the parade project manager.

“All I smiling faces, that’s what I’m looking forward to,” she says. “Bringing smiles to the faces of the children and the adults who love the parade so much.”

So she’s very excited to bring the people something new and exciting this year. One of the 80 entries in the parade this year is none other than Jamie Davis Towing Company, the brave crew featured on the television series Highway Through Hell. Jamie will be driving his HR126 1999 Peterbilt Heavy Wrecker in the parade, giving fans a chance to check out the vehicle as it motors past.

They’ve just opened a Chilliwack office and were eager to get involved in the community. And what better way than the Rotary Christmas Parade? While they’re sure to be a hit as the parade moves through town, there are plenty of others working hard on floats, costumes, musical arrangements and performances this week.

Many of them are young people dedicated to making sure the parade is a hit.

They include Sardis Senior Secondary School, G.W. Graham Middle School, CSOPA, Interact Club, Project Dance, Chilliwack Dance, Chilliwack Landing Pre-school, Excel Martial Arts, Hobby Hill Preschool, Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and Cadets, Baeks Tae Kwon Do Academy, NWO Roller Derby kids, and many other schools and performers.

GW Graham has taken over the most coveted float of the parade — the Santa Claus float.

And rather than sit in a VIP section, this year Mayor Sharon Gaetz and the rest of city council will be walking the parade route for a good cause.

“They’ll be walking with the firefighters, collecting non-perishable donations for the Food Bank,” Swanson says.

It’s worth making your way downtown this Saturday, and it’s never been easier. From 3 p.m. onward, all bus routes in Chilliwack are free, to encourage as many people as possible to take public transportation to the parade. There will also be extra buses traveling down Route 1 to ensure there’s room for everybody.

There will be a special area marked off for people with mobility challenges at Mill Street and Wellington, and bleachers set up by Decades, Princess Lane, and Yale and Fletcher.

The parade starts at Spadina Ave. and Corbould Street at 5:30 p.m., and heads to Wellington Ave. The parade carries along Wellington, through Five Corners, and down Yale Road past Chilliwack secondary school.