Seeing Santa at Light Up Black Diamond

Sweet colour blocking!

Santa Claus parades are the best. If you haven’t travelled much with the tykes, this type of excursion is the way to go. They’re just far enough outside of the city to make a trip out of it, and you’re not gone long enough to warrant massive amounts of packing.

Light up Black Diamond

Last Saturday night I hauled out to Black Diamond with a gaggle of moms and kids for the town’s annual Christmas fete, Light Up Black Diamond. How Dads seem to escape these seasonal festivities is a mystery to me. Naturally, I assumed there was going to be a Christmas parade, and that’s how I sold the event to my mini-me. But what to my wandering eye should appear, but only Santa, a pig and a few caged reindeer.

pet pig wearing clothing
Even this pig came to the parade!

I have no idea how or why the pig was incorporated into the event. Regardless, she was a big hit with the two to twelve year-old set. Anyway, the point is, that night I broke the cardinal rule of travelling with tots: NEVER tell them what they’re going to be doing in advance. Do so at your own risk.

Keeping mum is the way to go. It leaves the door open for you to bail, should a more suitable opportunity present itself or you’ve just plain screwed up. Travelling is all about being flexible, but kids aren’t as resilient as adults. Do yourself a favour and speak to them only in broad strokes about what they’re going to experience. The less specific you are the better or else your excursion is apt to look a lot like this:

child crying black and white

Back to Light Up Black Diamond, it was a sweet, small town event where kids could sit on Santa’s knee, take a horse drawn wagon ride and visit with festively dressed lama’s. You should go one year. Just don’t expect a parade.

holiday llamas
And llamas too!

For whatever reason, a good number of Christmas events in our part of the world take place at night, which makes no sense to me. If Christmas is for kids, why have any activity involving sugar, cold and darkness so perilously close to bedtime? You can forget about having a silent night. Trust me, tiny tots with their eyes all aglow, will find it hard to sleep that night.

children waving winter parade
Dress your kids up warmly. You never know…

Knowing the worst weather is always reserved for when you’re stuck outdoors with wee-ones, you’ll want to suit up in full winter armour, tote some hot shots and a thermos full of fortifying beverages to help the adults stay sane. And should you be lucky enough to catch an actual parade, be sure to bring plenty of blankets and lawn chairs. Sitting on a curb in winter is a recipe for hypothermia.

The silver lining in my saga, is that I haven’t totally missed out on seeing my beloved Christmas parade. This Friday, December 7, the High River’s Santa Claus Parade will take place at 6:30 p.m. And I plan to be there with (jingle) bells on.

What are your favourite Christmas events?

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