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The Santa Claus Parade in Halifax

A large float progressing through Halifax.


With so much for you and your family to see and do during the holiday season, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed. To ensure you don’t miss any Christmas fun, we’ve put in the time to find some of the best local events happening near you this season.

You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I’m telling you why — Santa Claus is coming to Halifax. The big man with the bushy beard will indeed be gracing the streets of Halifax for the annual Santa Claus parade, and we couldn’t be more excited. 

This year marks the 24th anniversary of the Chronicle Herald Santa Claus parade and makes it one of the longest-running parades in Canada. More than 100,000 attendees are expected to fill the streets in anticipation of the parade, which, in case you were wondering, is completely free! 

Curated below is all the information you need to know about the spectacle, with a handy advice section pinpointing some of the salient information so you can plan ahead and look forward to a stress-free, Christmassy evening.

When Exactly Is It?

The parade will take place on Saturday 16th November, and starts on Upper Water Street, which is a suitably grand location to begin such an enormous holiday celebration.

What Else is There to Do?

This question has a simple answer: more than you could imagine!

Fireworks going off at the annual Halifax Santa Claus Parade.
Source :

There’s a reason the Halifax Santa Claus Parade has been going for so long, and that’s because it’s one of the best. The night kicks off with a special appearance from Big Ol’ St. Nick himself at 3-4 pm, led by the fantastic Tri-Cadet Band. Next up is everybody’s favourite Red Nose Run which is now into its 5th year. With over 350 red noses flashing down the parade route, this event in support of the QEII Health Science Centre Foundation has quickly become a Halifax tradition, with all attendees encouraged to clap and cheer (and maybe even participate). Then, at 6 pm, the moment arrives and the parade begins proper. 

Another point worth noting is the fact that Canada Post will be collecting any letters to Santa Claus all evening, so that whatever your Christmas wish, you’ll get it from the big man in time for the big day. Kids will love the fact that adults are personally handling their own letters, so if you’ve got any children, this is a great activity to engage in with them.

The Route

Spanning 2.5km, the parade starts on Upper Water Street, then heads down by the Eastlink TV Area on Grand Parade and Barrington Street. It then continues onto Spring Garden road and past the IWK Children’s Hospital, ending the evening at the corner of University Avenue and Robie Street. 

A lot of planning has gone into making this route what it is, and given the turnout, the route should allow everyone who wants to catch a glimpse of the fabulous floats the opportunity to do so without catching a cold.

General Advice

Santa waving to the crowd in front of his own newspaper article.

It promises to be a chilly night, so wrap up warm and bring any stools or camping chairs as required. The shelter will be on-site collecting donations from 2:30, and with roads closing at 3, and no parking on the parade route, you are advised to arrive early in order to find a space, avoid congestion and get yourself the best viewing spot. 

For those not driving, Municipality will be providing a Free Ferry Service to and from Halifax and Dartmouth, the times of which are from 3:30 pm until 10:00 pm. This service is completely free (hello wine). Boy Scouts will be selling flashing red noses alongside volunteers at 2 for $5, in support of the QEII Health Science Centre Foundation, and Scotiabank will match all of the funds raised. Last year that total equated to over $8000. 

As always, with so many children attending, safety comes first, so all attendees are required to stay behind the curb lines at all times to avoid any accidents and coal in their sacks come Christmas morning. Remember: Santa is always watching. With so much going on, it promises to be the event of the season. But then again, with such a rich history, that’s no surprise to anyone.


Santa sitting on top of his sleigh at the Halifax Santa Claus Parade.

Irrespective of your cultural persuasion, Christmas is a magical time and never more so than during Halifax’s Santa Claus Parade. Whoever you are and whatever you’re doing, make sure you get on down to celebrate the season and make yourself some new memories.

If the parade isn’t quite enough for you and you want to see some more Santa Claus and Christmas festivities, however, be sure to check out the Christmas Glow events that have come to Halifax this year too. Christmas Glow is an indoor festival and market that boasts a fully licensed on-site bar, live music, delicious food, independent vendors and over one million lights dancing above it. It’s the perfect spot for a date, dinner, or a festive family trip. Christmas Glow Halifax is an experience like no other; and with Santa himself present, what’s not to like?

Note: This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by the Halifax Santa Claus Parade.


Christmas, Santa, Santa Claus Parade, Santa Clause Parade Halifax

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