In your fast-paced, technology-heavy life, don’t you find some of the most endearing moments are the simplest ones? If you’re like me, you are at your holiday happiest when doing something reminiscent of a childhood Christmas moment. Singing carols. Sipping hot cocoa. Searching for that perfect gift and, of course, stealing glimpses of Santa in the days and weeks before he made his big ride on Christmas Eve.
Starting on Friday, Nov. 27, stand on the sidewalk in Downtown Sault Ste. Marie, take a deep breath, and be transported back to one of those childhood memories. That’s the evening of the Parker Ace Hardware Christmas Parade of Lights. Sparkling lights, singing voices, and plenty of grins and giggles make this a beautiful family outing. The parade begins at 7pm.
This annual staple has been part of Sault Ste. Marie’s holiday celebration for decades, but it’s taken a huge leap forward this year with a major sponsor (Parker Ace Hardware) and a float contest that will gift a cash prize to one lucky entry.
Of course, the entry every youngster waits for needs no extra Christmas cash. Santa Claus always makes his appearance at the Christmas Parade of Lights. At the parade’s conclusion, Santa will say a few words before helping Mayor Anthony Bosbous flip the switch to light the official Christmas Tree at City Hall on Portage Avenue. Remember how the mere sight of Santa used to make your heart beat faster?
And with that….Christmas in Downtown Sault Ste. Marie is off and running, starting with Small Business Saturday on November 28.
Shop local and show your support to the business owners and shopkeepers who are your neighbors and major contributors to area non-profit organizations, school programs, and so many other activities that require financial or in-kind support.
Downtown businesses are so community minded that during the first two weekends in December, these very same businesses will offer up tasty refreshments, fantastic deals and more during back-to-back Christmas Open House events. Plan to be Downtown from Noon-5pm on Dec. 5 and Dec. 12, when parking, warm smiles, and holiday cheer are free all day during these special events.
Many heartwarming traditions pop up over the course of these two days, including Christmas carols, warm cider, special sales and more. But there are some special perks you may not expect. For instance, have you ever been transported from store to store by horse-drawn wagon? No? Don Bell at Bell Farms is ready to introduce you to this climate-friendly mode of transportation!
In fact, you may hear the clip-clop of horse’s hooves from more than one source.
In addition to Santa sightings and sleigh rides, be sure to visit Avery Square for their Christmas Tree Forest found inside the Atrium. Dozens of trees are found in all their holiday finery in what is a fun and festive atmosphere that also doubles as the location where kids can get a photo taken with Santa.
Local businesses also put out holiday cookies, snacks, and hot drinks, as well as great prices and one-of-a-kind gift items that can only be found at the independent stores. In fact, more than 30 retailers in Downtown Sault Ste. Marie will offer in-store specials, not to mention the chance to register to win a drawing for Downtown Dollars!
We hope you will make Downtown Sault Ste. Marie part of your holiday calendar of events and allow yourself to be transported back in time to the traditions and festivities that make the Christmas holidays special.