JCI’s storied history with the annual Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade

Smart Biz

By Natasha Fisher

Nov.15 will mark the 105th anniversary of the Santa Claus parade here in Winnipeg. The Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade has a wonderful, community-based history throughout its 105 years and for the last 40 years, it has been the key community event for JCI Winnipeg.
The Santa Claus Parade started with the Eaton’s department store which hosted the first parade back in 1909, and continued to do so until 1965. Due to increasing costs, Eaton’s could no longer organize the parade.
However, the parade still continued thanks to a gentleman by the name of Captain George Smith of the East Kildonan fire department, who on behalf of the Winnipeg Firefighters Club, bought the parade from Eaton’s for $1.50.
For close to ten years, the Winnipeg Firefighters worked very closely with volunteers from schools to carry on the parade tradition, and in 1975, the Winnipeg Jaycees, now JCI Winnipeg…

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