(Mrs. Claus and Kingsville District High School Technology students standing with a new sleigh they built for Windsor Parade Corporations’ new Santa Claus Parade float, during a press conference at Kingsville District High School on Friday, October 11, 2019. Photo above by Eric Bonnici / Eyes On Windsor.)
The Windsor Parade Corporation in collaboration with Kingsville District High School’s Tech Zone have revealed a new sleigh students have built for this year’s Santa Claus Parade series. People lining the streets in Kingsville on November 16th will be the first to see not only the new sleigh but the new float, “Santa’s New Ride,” that it will be mounted on.
Mrs. Claus says, “We love our new sleigh, I’m excited and Santa is going to be blown away.” Not only is the sleigh fire engine red as was requested but it has more room compared to the old sleigh. Mrs. Claus says her knees were often “bangged up” in the old sleigh. “It’s pretty fabulous, the students were very attentive and it’s been a very good collaboration.”
Matt Daudlin, construction technology teacher, explained that about sixty students in total, along with two lead hands, worked on the project. Daudlin says Department Head for Technical Education, Doug Doey and his welding class put the full steel frame underneath the sleigh together. Grade 12 students, Nickolay Van Eeenschoten and Caleb Remillard were the lead hands for the majority of the build. The remainder of the work was done by Daudlin’s grade 9 construction technology classes.
Student lead Nickolay said, “it was a pretty amazing experience, Mr. Daudlin and Mr. Doey explained the end product and where it was going. It definitely took a lot of work.” The project took about 150 hours to complete over 5 weeks. Daudlin says, “the 2 lead hands both spent time during the school day and after hours, at least one of the nights they were here until six o’clock.”
“We’re rolling out Santa’s New Ride and Santa’s New Work Shop,” says Ken Bosse, Windsor Parade Corporation Board Member. Bosse is supervising the creation of the new floats and members of the Windsor Parade Corp. are building them, including Mrs. Claus. “The plan is to revamp six to eight floats over the next 3 or 4 years.”
“We’ve wanted to redo the Santa Claus float for years,” explains Maggie Durocher, Director, Windsor Parade Corporation. The process is expensive and the corporation is now in a position to finally create the new float. “The design is one that I had liked for years and it’s unbelievable. There’s reigndeer (pulling the sleigh), it’s on a rooftop, and the house is made of cobble stone, every stone is hand carved, everything is done from styrofoam, like they do in the big parade companies.” Durocher says it’s all part of keeping the parade fresh and new.
The old Santa Claus float featured Santa’s sleigh with a castle behind it. “The castle is being re-purposed to create a new workshop shop float,” explained Durocher.
Bosse says, “foam is sprayed on the new (workshop) float like snow. On the old float reindeer heads popped out of the windows, we’ve changed those into windows so it’s like you’re looking into a house.” Each window will feature a different theme / scene. Without giving them all away, one of the scenes Bosse told us about features “Santa’s office with a computer and his naughty and nice list.” The workshop float will also feature a slide with toys going into a big bag, made by Windsor Tent and Awning. “It’s going to pop,” exclaims Bosse.
The Kingsville District High School Tech Zone is a longtime partner with the Town of Kingsville Fantasy of Lights Committee in the creation of the Town’s award winning illuminated Christmas Displays in Lakeside Park. The Kingsville Santa Claus Parade, produced by the Windsor Parade Corporation is a part of Kingsville’s Fantasy of Lights Festival.
The Fantasy of Lights and the Windsor Parade Corporation Santa Claus Parade series both kick off on Saturday, November 16. Additional parades in the series take place in Amherstburg (Nov 23), Windsor (Nov 30), and Essex (Dec 14).