By HiMY SYeD
The Santa Claus Parade is one of the biggest productions of its kind in North America.
Here are some scenes showing what went on before the floats actually began floating. We’re calling this the Pregame Show to this year’s Toronto Santa Claus Parade.
Santa's helpers back from a Timmie's run.
For the few lucky young ones out with their folks this early like this kid, they're able to get up close to almost any of the parade's 26 floats.
Attaching some last minute items to the giant characters riding atop this float.
Sears, who purchased assets of the Eaton's Department Store chain, remains a sponsor the Parade. Eaton's was the founder and original sponsor of The Santa Claus Parade.
40...39...38...37...days to go
Among the few savvy early bird photographers out this morning circa 7:30 a.m.
Tail end of the Parade.
The Back of Santa's Float.
The first Santa Claus Parade saw St. Nick exit at Union Station and walk up Yonge Street to the Eaton's Store. This year, Santa's sleigh is steps away from the Ossington TTC Station. Hopefully he hoarded enough tokens for all his helpers in time for the Parade.
Like President Obama, Santa apparently has his own security detail.
Most every kid I passed by was eager to touch the 'magic' by actually touching a parade float. Something highly unlikely for the kids lining the regular parade route later in the day.
Antlers, meet Big Foot. Big Foot, please don't step on Antlers.
Until this couple has young'uns of their own, they're each others' big kid.
Golf carts dashed to and fro all morning as marshals and set up crew hitched rides in the east bound lanes of Bloor Street West. Many of the Floats were parked in the eastbound lanes.
Many princesses are high maintenance. This one's no different.
The Bickford Centre at 777 Bloor Street West across from Christie Pits Park is Santa Claus Parade Ground Zero as the staging area for volunteers and participants.
Getting ready to jazz it up at Bloor and Christie.
As early as 8 a.m., more than four hours before the official start time of the parade, kids and parents have secured choice viewing spots in Koreatown.
These kids in Koreatown ran out of chalk. A photo-op or few to fill the time.
Also Like President Obama, these clowns get a police escort through Koreatown heading to the staging area.
Canada Post making a rare Sunday delivery.
Hundreds and hundreds of clowns arrived via chartered school bus. Before disembarking, some fun with the assembling crowd watchers.
The kids had been scooping up the sprayed goop and flinging it back to the clowns on the bus. After that got boring, a few of the clowns handed over a number of spray cans to even things up.
Busted! Grabbing one last smoke away from the kids, we don't want to set a bad example.
High School marching band from Attica, New York State.
Jennifer, Kristy, Kirsten, Katelyn, and Nikki are among 175 members of the Attica Senior High School Band. This is the 17th year for the school's band marching in the parade. When asked if the number of 175 members present was in deference to Toronto's 175th anniversary as a city, nyahh, they had no idea. It's just a fluke.
Still 4 hours to go before the official start time of the parade.
A close up crop of the annual tradition of the clown group photo. 2009 Edition.
It's half past noon now and the rear of the parade tries to get into the groove.
Waiting at Bloor Street West at Shaw Street.
The Crappy Tire Float ensemble....waiting...to...get...a...move...on...
. . . waiting . . .
. . . still waiting . . .
At Ossington Avenue, Santa and crew. Waiting.
Santa shrugs his shoulder when asked when the big show gets on the road.
Many restaurants in Bloorcourt took advantage of feeding the hundreds of volunteers.
The second last float of the Parade.
Many photographers found it challenging to properly capture the clown group photo.
For the first time in 28 years, the parade route was changed, passing by Yonge-Dundas Square where for many of the parade participants, the day began with a morning breakfast.