31st  Annual Rotary Santa Claus Parade
Parade Entry Process
To Parade Participant,
Planning is underway for the 31st  Annual Rotary Santa Claus Parade.
The Rotary Santa Claus Parade has become a major seasonal event in Thunder Bay viewed by 20,000 spectators and you are an important part of its success.
We invite you to participate in the 2023 edition of the Rotary Santa Claus Parade to be held on Saturday, November 18th  at 10:00 a.m.
Please complete and submit the Parade Entry Form before November 11th.
Click HERE for the Entry Form.
On behalf of the Rotary Clubs of Thunder Bay and the volunteers and sponsors who make this event possible, we extend our appreciation to you and look forward to your participation in this year’s Santa Claus Parade.
If you have any questions, please contact:

Dawn Sebesta
on behalf of the 31st  Annual Rotary Santa Claus Parade Committee
Email:                 parade@fwrotary.ca
Phone:               807-621-4100
Website:             fwrotary.ca


General Information
  • Parade Theme:  The Rotary Santa Claus Parade does not have a theme. Feel free to express your holiday spirit in your own way! We encourage getting creative with costumes, music, lights, etc.  Some suggestions to get you inspired are as follows:  “The Nutcracker”, Gingerbread houses, Reindeer games, “Frosty the Snowman”, Whoville and the Grinch, “A Christmas Story”, Victorian carollers, Winter holidays and traditions from around the world, “A Christmas Carol”, Silver bells, “Polar Express”, Christmas trees, The Season of Giving.
  • Please, no other Santa or Mrs. Claus entries in the parade. The Santa Claus Float and Santa himself will be provided.
  • Parade time is 10:00 a.m. sharp, departing from the Superstore on Harbour Expressway, traveling north along Memorial Avenue, concluding at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. Each entry must be decorated well with a seasonal theme.
  • Entries not decorated will not be allowed to participate.
  • Participants are limited to a maximum of 5 vehicles per entry.
  • Floats with animals - please remember the “pooper scooper”. If you are incorporating animals in your float, please obtain separate insurance.
  • We strongly encourage SANTA CLAUS MUSIC as part of your float. Our goal is to have every entry with music – the audience is asking for it.  
  • Please remember this is a family event. While we appreciate everyone’s efforts in promoting or displaying their product or cause, please consider the small children who view this parade. We ask that everyone ensure a proper code of conduct and personal attire is in place. Please refrain from alcohol consumption. Our goal is to make this event a fun-filled enjoyable experience for all those involved.
  • Floats must be sturdily constructed, with rider and participant safety paramount, not presenting a health or safety hazard to participants or the general public. Railings & hand rails must be strong enough to prevent falls. Fire extinguishers rated 2A-10BC are required on all floats. 
  • The ratio of adult chaperones to children will be no less than1:10 for ages 6 to 12 or 1:5 for preschoolers.
  • Any parade unit that performs exhibitions en-route must be a moving demonstration as not to cause gaps in the parade. Unsafe motorcycle demonstrations are not allowed and the motorcycles must maintain the pace of the parade.
  • Participants may not jump on and off floats once the parade had started. Riders will not be allowed to leave their float once their float is in motion. 
  • The parade Safety Inspection Committee will be checking each entry at the staging area for compliance to the rules.
Parade Participant Information
  • Float rider drop off location: Parents and car-poolers can drop off people at Wendy’s, on Memorial. Enter Wendy’s main lot: drop off passengers and their gear: and then leave to find parking elsewhere. Please observe a 10 minute maximum time limit; and please avoid Wendy’s drive thru area.
  • If you are leaving a vehicle at the Superstore marshalling site, please make your way safely to the two rows of parking on the immediate east side of the building shared by A&W, Subway, and First Choice.
  • ABSOLUTELY NO VEHICLES except those in the parade will be allowed in the main area designated for floats. If the float needs to be completed this can be done on the back side of the Superstore and once completed the float then can proceed to the staging area. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS.
Float Driver Information 
  • To ensure the parade begins on time, all floats must be in position at the Superstore by 9:00 a.m.
  • To prevent traffic congestion, all floats are to arrive on Carrick St. and must turn onto the roadway behind Superstore then entering the Superstore parking lot through the lot on the east side of the store. 
  • Vehicle/Floats will not be allowed to enter the Superstore lot from Gorham St. or Memorial Ave. Please ensure that your drivers are aware of this.
  • If your entry has more than one vehicle, they must all arrive together for assembly purposes. If you arrive at separate times please wait at the back of the Superstore until all participants have arrived. Once every part of the group has arrived then proceed to the staging area. SPACE WILL NOT BE HELD FOR ANY PART OF ANY ENTRY THAT ARRIVES SEPARATLY.
  • Where possible, please shut-off vehicle engines prior to parade start. Reducing exhaust fumes at this site would assist our environment and the health of the people waiting at the Superstore parking lot.
  • The float driver must remain with the vehicle and be familiar with the organization for whom he/she is driving.
  • During the parade, please maintain approximately 10 metres (30 feet) between you and the float ahead of you, no closer - no further. This must be adhered to in order to keep the parade moving along safely.
  • Please have someone on the float to replenish walkers’ supplies in order to avoid any unnecessary delays.
  • If you have mechanical problems with your vehicle during the parade, please pull over and wave others to pass. Should the problem be resolved, we will attempt to re-enter your float at a proper interval.
  • At the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium please do not leave any garbage or materials from the floats.
  • To exit Auditorium site, please refer to the map and follow directions from the personnel on site for timely departure onto City roadways.
  • Candy Distribution: If you wish to hand out candy along the parade route you must provide “walkers” along the route.  
  • Candy: Absolutely no candy is to be thrown from the floats. There are approximately 20,000 people lining the parade route.  We are very aware of the difficulties to fairly determine or distribute your gifts of kindness to thousands of tiny faces along the route.  As past parades indicate, the majority of these candy items are being dispersed to those who are located at the beginning to middle of the parade route. Although we greatly appreciate your efforts, if possible, please remember that smiling faces are anxiously waiting near the end of the parade route (near the Thunder Bay Auditorium site) and would very much appreciate your kindness there too.
    No candy is to be handed from horse riders. Groups riding on horses who want to hand out candy must have walkers to handle the distribution.
  • Following the parade, refreshments for parade participants will be available at the big tent on the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium parking lot.
  • Santa and Mrs. Claus will make an appearance in the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium lobby at the end of the parade to greet the children.
  • A shuttle bus is available to all participants for a ride back to the Superstore. The departure location of this service will be in the Auditorium parking lot along Beverly St.
Awards and Awards Ceremony

Float Awards
  • Best In the Show Award
  • Most Original Christmas Theme
  • Educational/School/Child Care Category
  • Community Group/Service Club Category
  • Commercial Category
Presentation of these Awards will take place at a later date. Winners will be contacted.

Dawn Sebesta
Phone: 807-621-4100
Email: parade@fwrotary.ca