An Annual Amherst Christmas Tradition

Jamie Heap
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Santa Claus parade gets bigger and better with each passing year

Santa Claus (Terry Rhindress) sits on top of a miniature house with his miniature sleigh and illuminated reindeer Saturday night in Amherst near the end of the Santa Claus parade's route. Rhindress estimates he's been Santa Claus in the parade for the past 38 to 40 years, notwithstanding 50 years of being Santa.

AMHERST-Not even the cold chill of a winter’s wind could put a damper on peoples’ Christmas spirits Saturday night for the town’s Santa Claus parade.

Even Santa Claus himself, Terry Rhindress, braved the cold weather. Rhindress estimates he’s been Santa Claus for 38-40 years in the town’s Santa Claus parade.

“It’s so nice to see everybody,” stated Amherst Town Councillor and Santa Claus parade committee board member George Baker. “We’re very happy with the support, something that people do for all of our events. It keeps getting bigger and better every year. The one thing about our parade is that we have people from neighbouring communities come out as well to take part in the parade.”

Two of the communities that Baker referred to were Sackville, New Brunswick (Brooke Lane Farm) and Pugwash, Nova Scotia. For the first time in its 35 year history, Pugwash Ground Search and Rescue entered a floated into the parade. Ten members were on hand for the parade. Springhill Fire Rescue also entered a float.

In addition to entries from such local businesses as Amherst Sobeys, Amherst Superstore, First On Site Restoration, Fundy Landscaping Matlby Farms and Scotsburn, Double D Four-H, Sunrise 4-H, First Fenwick Scouting, Knights of Columbus/Holy Family Parish Church, the ARHS and EB Chandler bands, local cadets, Cumberland County Pewee ‘A’ Ramblers, Cumberland County Wolfpack football team, Cumberland County’s RCMP, MADD and NSCC Cumberland Campus-Amherst were among the 65 entrants in the 2013 Santa Claus parade.

“It’s nice to be part of such a great cause,” stated NSCC business administration Venessa Webb of the Skate 4 Prostate Hockey game event between the Amherst Ramblers and Pictou Weeks Crushers on November 30 in support of Prostate Cancer Awareness. Sponsors are Archway Insurance and Wawanesa Insurance.

“The Cumberland Y’s service club has been looking after the parade for 25 years,” stated Cumberland Y’s service club parade committee chair Charlie Seymour. “Twenty-five Y’s service club volunteers directed and coordinated parade traffic.”

“Anyone who has any ideas for the parade are more than welcome to share them with me,” stated Baker. “I know that the parade was on the same night as Moncton’s parade, and some people like to see both. Maybe next year we can have it on a different night so that they maybe they will come down and watch ours.”

“It was a great event” stated Cumberland North MLA Terry Farrell. “A lot of effort was put in by the Y’s service club. I walked the whole parade route and looked into the eyes of many children. It makes you remember what Christmas is all about.”



Organizations: Brooke Lane Farm, Double D, Knights of Columbus Parish Church RCMP MADD Wawanesa Insurance

Geographic location: Cumberland County, New Brunswick, Pugwash Nova Scotia Scotsburn Moncton

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Recent comments

  • Amherstonian
    November 25, 2013 - 21:17

    Where can we find the judged parade results?

  • Gordon
    November 25, 2013 - 15:30

    As Bill mentioned, the judging seemed a bit odd. J.Js. Trailer Hitches certainly was worthy but some of the others? Maybe have the public judge the winners. I agree, the Grinch was terrific. The bands also deserve special acknowledgement even though they aren't a "float". I don't know that daytime would help the cold much.

  • Bill
    November 25, 2013 - 12:34

    The parade was wonderful (aside from the cold) but I'd like to know what kind of criteria the judges are looking at when judging the floats. Cumberland Municipality's float was awesome and they didn't even get an honorable mention?! What's up with that??

  • Day time no good
    November 25, 2013 - 11:05

    Daytime is not a good idea, you can't see the lights which are a huge part of the parade. Who wants to look at unlighted vehicles in the daytime. Dress warm or sit in your vehicle till the parade gets to you and you will be fine

    • Alexis
      November 25, 2013 - 12:16

      Not talking about me - talking about the children/students in the parade. Pretty hard for band members, little ones to dress too warm and still perform and every year they look frozen walking along.....I'd give up the pretty lights : )

  • Alexis
    November 25, 2013 - 09:14

    I agree with Frank, change it back to afternoons. It'll still look pretty...

  • frank
    November 24, 2013 - 21:09

    hi the parade was great but what about having an after noon one the night ones are so cold and if you have kids martching or bands it would be better