With less than one week to go until the 64th annual Oakville Santa Claus Parade (Santa rolls into town on November 17th at 9 am), we profiled Pam Damoff, Chair of the Parade, aka CEO (Chief Elf Oakville).
(Oakville.com) How long have you lived in Oakville?
(Pam Damoff): 20 years
(OC): Describe yourself in three words:
(PD): HO HO HO or I LOVE CHRISTMAS
(OC): How long have you worked with the Santa Claus Parade?
(PD): This is my ninth Parade
(OC): Best part of your job?
(PD): Seeing the kids faces on Parade Day, and working with the most amazing people to put on such high quality Parade
(OC): Little known fact about the Parade?
(PD): I don’t think people realize how many hundreds of people volunteer their time on the Parade – whether on the organizing committee, building floats, volunteering on Parade Day – there are probably a thousand people when all is said and done who have volunteered for the Parade
(OC): What makes the Parade unique from others?
(PD): We don’t allow automobiles or vans as an entry – everyone must incorporate the theme. We have turned down numerous entries for that reason. We want every entry to be entertaining
(OC): Why should people come to the parade?
(PD): It is a wonderful magical experience. We also have Santa’s planes do a fly-by – so that is unique. Great bands, creative entries and of course Santa.
(OC): What makes a good float?
(PD): One that is fun, bright, colourful and where the participants interact with the crowd
(OC): Best memory of the parade?
(PD): My very first Parade seeing the children’s faces when Santa goes by. One little boy was actually shaking with excitement.
(OC): How do you celebrate Christmas?
(PD): Our celebration starts right after the Santa Claus Parade, so the tree is always up before the Grey Cup game! We even have a piece of Santa’s beard that was left behind one year that we put on the tree every Christmas. Every year I drop by Brookdale Public School to help flip pancakes at Breakfast with Santa – a tradition started 15 years ago. Spending time with family and friends is what makes the holidays so special.
(OC): Best stocking stuffer?
(PD): Something with chocolate
(OC): Best way to spend an afternoon in Oakville?
(PD): An afternoon of skating at Oakville Arena or Kinoak Arena, followed by hot chocolate in Kerr Village, Downtown or in Bronte Village. During the Christmas season, what better way to spend an afternoon that strolling one of our three beautiful BIAs
(OC): Best kept secret in Oakville?
(PD): Oakville Greenhouse , Oakville Museum and Oakville Galleries – all open to the public
(OC):Three words to describe Oakville?
(PD): Santa’s favourite town
The Oakville Santa Claus Parade is on Saturday November 17th at 9 am. The theme for this year is “Once Upon a Christmas”. For more information about the Parade visit: http://www.oakvillesantaclausparade.ca/