The eighth annual Niagara Electric Lights Parade honoring the Town of Niagara Bicentennial begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.
Again this year, the parade will not only bring Santa, but will play Santa. There will be a Boot Brigade, with firefighters carrying boots to collect cash to benefit the Niagara Falls Firefighters Toy Fund. Also, volunteers will gather non-perishable food items from spectators.
Each year, thanks to generous donors from throughout the area, the Niagara Falls Firefighters Toy Fund delivers Christmas toys to approximately 1,000 children and provides a delicious meal and holiday-themed entertainment for hundreds of residents of nursing homes and adult care facilities in Niagara County. It also ensures that winter clothing is provided to hundreds of children in need.
Food collected at the parade will go to Community Missions in Niagara Falls. In 2011, the Community Missions Food Pantry served 29,484 meals to 3,276 individuals. If participants instead wish to donate food to their own church food pantries, parade organizers encourage them to indicate the donation is on behalf of the Niagara Electric Lights Parade.
An estimated 70 units, including more than a half dozen bands, will take part in this professionally judged parade, which will begin at Military Road and Fourth Avenue and culminate at the Military Road Kmart. After taking part in the parade, Santa Claus will greet the crowd and visit with children at Niagara Active Hose Volunteer Fire Co., 6010 Lockport Road.
The major sponsor for the parade is Republic Services (Allied Waste Industries of Niagara Falls). Allied Waste owns and operates the Niagara Falls Sanitary Landfill, located at the intersection of 56th Street and Niagara Falls Boulevard.
The Niagara Electric Lights Parade is organized and presented by the Town of Niagara, the Town of Niagara Business and Professional Association Inc. and the Niagara USA Chamber.