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'Brings everyone together': Argyle BIA Santa Claus Parade draws thousands to east London, Ont.

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Thousands of people lined Dundas Street in London’s east end for the ninth annual Argyle BIA (business improvement area) Santa Claus Parade on Saturday.

“There isn't really a magnet thing that brings everyone to Argyle so we put on these different events just so people can come together and appreciate all the all the effort that the business is putting towards it,” said Rob Graham, chair of the Argyle BIA.

This year’s theme was ‘candy-coated holiday magic’ and along the route, TLC Landscaping was collecting toys for those in need.

“This is our third year in the parade, and this year we decided to include the toy drive,” said Kimberly Seabourne of TLC Landscaping.

“Every year TLC donates a bunch of toys to a local charity and this year we chose Ronald McDonald House. They donate to kids throughout the year and provide Christmas for families in the house so we'll be delivering the toys we collect next week,” she said.

GLS Canada and East London Soccer were collecting canned goods during the Argyle BIA Santa Claus Parade on Dec. 2, 2023 in London, Ont. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)And a few entries away in the parade, East London Soccer partnered with GLS Canada to collect canned goods.

“We're hoping that everybody can come out and support us with their food donations and we want to double our goal from last year which was 400 pounds of food,” said Carolyn Kirk of East London Soccer.

For the first time the parade added a low sensory and low mobility section, and handed out free hot chocolate along the route.

“This is the chance to come together and celebrate and get into the spirit of the season,” said Shawn Lewis, London’s deputy mayor and Ward 2 councillor who represents the Argyle area.

He added, “It's a signature event for the Argyle BIA, and we have so many businesses and community organizations who come together for this. It’s just a chance to get together have some fun and celebrate the season.” 

London Mayor Josh Morgan (right) waves to people during the Argyle BIA Santa Claus Parade on Dec. 2, 2023 in London, Ont. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)

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