Pickle Planet is proud to be a media partner of the Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade – and extra proud of Papa Pickle for chairing the event for several years!
The Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade takes place Saturday, November 25, 2023, starting at 5pm at the corner of Main Street and Cameron Street, making its way down Main to the intersection with Paul Street.
Pickle Planet’s Guide to the Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade!
Nothing kicks off the holiday season quite like watching the excitement build throughout a Santa Claus parade – and the Greater Moncton Area boasts one of the biggest and best in the country!
Did you know …
- The Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade generally brings more than 100,000 people together to kick off the Christmas season?
- As many as 100 floats, marching bands, and walking groups traditionally take part in the parade each year?
- The Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade is a non-profit, volunteer-based event that incorporates three municipalities, the business community, and hundreds of community members?
- The Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade was created in 1967?
To ensure you have the best time possible at the Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade, we’ve created this guide as part of our media partnership with the parade. It has all the information you need to know to make the most of the experience, from parking and road closures to tips for your first parade with a tot!
Here we go!
WHAT TO BRING
The Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade begins with a food drive, so if you can give non-perishables or even a cash donation, please do so! Watch for members of the RCMP carrying donation bins along the route; their arrival is a great sign the floats will be coming soon. The food drive generally walks about 15 minutes before the official parade start.
Don’t forget to bring your Letters to Santa, too! Carriers from Canada Post will be collecting these very important letters to deliver them to the North Pole. No postage necessary; just include the address:
Be sure to remember your return address so Santa and his elves can send you a letter back!
The best way to enjoy the parade is to be prepared. Here are some of our tried & true tips:
- The parade takes about an hour to pass by; consider bringing a camping chair or blanket to sit on – but please be courteous of others and don’t block the sidewalk or park yourself in front of another family. Chairs with carrying straps are a must for us!
- Bring snacks & drinks, including something warm in a thermos. (You might want to bring two; one for the kids with a little less steam to it!)
- Dress warmly. Don’t forget hats, mitts, etc for the adults as well as the kids, as you’ll be standing in one spot for awhile. It’s easy to take off layers if you’re warm!
- Pick up some glow sticks; you can often find Christmas-themed ones at the dollar stores. (You’ll often find folks selling such goodies along parade routes, so it helps to be prepared with your own or with cash!)
Some other things to plan for:
- Consider bathroom needs; you don’t want to be rushing through the crowds, searching for a place to potty if you have a little one that isn’t used to waiting through events. Find a spot to watch with a public washroom nearby, or check with friends and family if anyone has a workplace along the route that would be welcoming in an emergency.
- No matter where you set up to watch the parade (more on that to come!), you’ll likely be out past bedtime with littles. Consider having the kids wear their PJs under their snowsuits to make the transition to bed a little easier, especially if they fall asleep on the way home.
- If you can have more adults than children, do it! Invite friends and family to join you if necessary. It’s great to have one person save your spot while another takes a walk with little people not used to waiting.
- Please be sure to take home whatever you bring with you; litter left along the route gets you straight on Santa’s naughty list!
WHERE TO WATCH
Every family has their own favourite spot, but we can highlight a few you might want to consider making yours!
By the ‘Subway’
If you set up near the train tracks that pass over Main Street (known at the Subway, for those of you new to Moncton), you get to see one of the coolest things – the signature Christmas Tree float that condenses near the old Times & Transcript building to fit under the bridge, then ‘grows’ again by Atlantic Lottery.
This area is also great for families with little ones trying to stick to a bedtime schedule. The parade begins at the corner of Cameron & Main; if you watch near the beginning of the route, you’ll be heading home before 7pm.
Moncton City Hall
The city’s decorations are always ready for the occasion and the Mayor and Council host a Holiday Open House on parade night, making this a festival spot to celebrate the kick off to the season. Treats will be available in the lobby between 5 & 6pm; Santa’s float generally passes by around 6pm. Our friends from K945 & MAXFM will be outside with their selfie booth & more fun, including some giveaways!
There are two designated Family Fun Zones along the parade route, keeping you entertained while you wait for the parade. You might want to make one of these locations your family’s favourite spot! For 2023, enjoy music & mascots in front of the Avenir Centre (4-5pm) and CF Champlain (5-6pm).
Parking, dinner, & washrooms! Park at the mall earlier in the day & enjoy a food court dinner as a fun treat for the family! You’ll be near the end of the parade route with this option, so keep that in mind; it could be 7pm or later before Santa makes his way past. (You might even make a full day of it and see if there are still spots to book your visit with Santa at the mall earlier in the day!)
PLEASE REMEMBER: Santa does NOT travel up any side streets during this parade; you must be on Main Street between Cameron and Paul to see the parade!
WHEN & WHERE TO PARK
Getting to the parade route takes a little planning, of course. Here are some important things you need to know:
- Codiac Transpo service will be impacted by street closures, so be sure to check their site for updates if you’re planning to take the bus. www.codiactranspo.ca
- The City of Moncton will cover the parking meters along Main Street on Saturday; parking along Main from Vaughan Harvey Boulevard to Paul Street will NOT be an option for anyone.
- Vaughan Harvey Boulevard from Canada Street (near Sobeys) to St. George Street will be closed starting at 1pm, as the parade floats and entries need a place to line up. (You’ll be able to go through the Vaughan Harvey & Main intersection until later in the afternoon.)
- Main Street from Enterprise to Cameron Street will be closed at 3pm, expanding all the way to Paul Street at 4pm. The streets will reopen as the parade passes by, starting around 7pm; please be extra careful watching for pedestrians Saturday evening!
Wondering where to park the family vehicle? All City-owned lots are free on weekends! Just remember if you’re looking to park close, remember all those road closures and plan accordingly. We’re also fans of visiting CF Champlain for a food court dinner & wish list shopping before the parade!
For the best run down of options for parking downtown, check out the city’s parking lot & metre map.
HOW LONG WILL IT LAST? (and other tidbits)
The Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade averaged about 100 entries pre-pandemic, making the parade about an hour and a half from the first lead vehicles to the final float with Santa. The entries have been lower lately, so it takes only about one hour for the parade to pass by.
For safety reasons, no parade entries are allowed to offer treats or hand-outs to spectators.
There are no sirens or truck horns allowed honking during the parade. However, there are lots of bands and floats playing music – sometimes with great DJs or even live musicians. If you or your family are sensitive to sound, consider bringing some ear plugs or ear defenders.
This year’s theme is The World Celebrates the Season.
Entries are judged by a panel; winners in the various categories are announced at a banquet in early December.
Think you might want to enter the parade next year? Registration generally opens in September and closes around Remembrance Day. You can find all the details on the parade website.
IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT … or just want to see it again …
Not able to brave the cold or the crowds? Considering making a date to watch the parade on TV! Rogers is once again recording the parade; the first showing is usually Saturday night at 9pm. You can watch on Channel 10 if you have Rogers, or head to their website to stream it (click on the Videos tab for live streaming). The parade is shown again at various times leading up to Christmas; check Rogers schedule for details.
While this list is specific to the Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade, many of our tips on winter parade watching can also be applied to the many other Santa parades that happen in our area each year. We’ve rounded up details on other local parades, as well as holiday markets & more in our Guide to Santa Parades & Winter Festivals in New Brunswick.
Wondering about next year?
The Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade is held the fourth Saturday of November, so mark your calendar for November 23, 2024!
Did we miss answering your questions – or have some tips you’d add? Share them below! We’re all about spreading the knowledge around to make attending the Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade the best experience for everyone involved!
Pin it to remember!