Pembroke – With almost 70 floats and a lot of enthusiasm from parade participants and spectators alike, the Santa Claus parade on Saturday night was a big hit.

“Pembroke Street was packed,” Andrea Runtz, a recreation aid with the City of Pembroke, commented following the parade. “There were people three or four deep in some spots.”

With the return to an in-person parade, there was a lot of enthusiasm and although the 68 floats participating was not a record number – in the past there have been up to 80 – it did make for a very busy parade route.

Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski, who was in the parade, said the crowd was very large. He estimated there might have been about 7,000 people lining the parade route.

Ms. Runtz said people were very enthusiastic about the parade and staff have been hearing a lot of positive feedback.

“It’s been a few years for an in-person parade,” she noted.

The weather – unusually balmy for late November – was likely also a factor.

“The weather was beautiful,” she said.

“And Santat was amazing and engaging with everyone,” she said.

The theme for the parade this year was “Retro” and the floats lived up to the theme, she said. There were several floats with old movie themes, including cartoon characters.

The floats started assembling about 1 p.m., with most arriving about 2 p.m. for the evening parade.