Holiday season kicks off with fun events

November 11, 2019

Cornwall Santa Claus Parade

Cornwall Santa Claus Parade

Santa Claus is coming to town.

The Christmas season is about to swing in to high gear in Cornwall with a series of fun family events ushering in the holiday season.

Cornwall Santa Claus Parade

First up is the annual Cornwall Santa Claus Parade, an event that has served as the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season in Cornwall for decades.

The parade returns on Saturday, November 16th with a theme of ‘Christmas Traditions’ and organizers are expecting upwards of 50 entries along the parade route.

“The theme is wide open and everyone has their own (Christmas) traditions,” said Terry Muir of the Cornwall Santa Claus Parade Committee. “I’m anxious to see what some people come up with for their floats.”

The parade will start at 5 pm at St. Lawrence Secondary School (1450 Second Street East) and proceed west along Second Street to Augustus Street in Downtown Cornwall. The festivities will then continue at the Cornwall Civic Complex with refreshments and awards.

As far as Christmas celebrations go, the sights and sounds of the parade never gets old.

“Once the parade starts and you see all the kids smiling and looking at the floats going by and anticipating Santa’s arrival, that makes it all worthwhile,” said Mr. Muir.

Letters to Santa

Mr. Muir encourages children to do their homework in advance and bring their letters to Santa with them to the parade. Canada Post carriers will be marching near the front of the parade and collecting letters to Santa from young ones.

Make sure to address the letters to Santa Claus, North Pole, HOH OHO, Canada and be sure to include a return address on the letter.

“Every one of those letters is answered by Santa,” Mr. Muir noted.

Breakfast with Santa

Santa will be arriving early this year to take part in a free breakfast with children on the morning of the parade at the Civic Complex.

The Breakfast with Santa, sponsored by the Optimist Club of Cornwall, runs from 8:30 am to 10:30 am on Saturday, November 16th.

It’s an opportunity to enjoy a great meal and meet and take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus ahead of the parade.

Children are free while adults are encouraged to make a donation.

Santa’s Street Hockey Challenge

Parade day in Cornwall also includes Santa’s Street Hockey Challenge, a children’s 3-on-3 hockey tournament in Le Village on Montreal Road.

Each year, hundreds of children participate in this free tournament while also raising funds for various community causes.

For more information on this event, please click here.

Community Christmas Tree Lighting

Another popular Christmas tradition arrives on Friday, November 22nd with the Community Christmas Tree Lighting event at City Hall Plaza (340 Pitt Street) from 6 pm to 7 pm.

Bring the family for an evening of caroling, hot chocolate and visits with Santa!

There will be live performances starting at 6 pm, with the tree lighting taking place at 6:45 pm.

Bring a non-perishable food donation to enter your child into a draw to light the tree!

Other Events

The Christmas fun doesn’t end there. There are numerous other holiday-themed events on tap in the coming weeks, including the Centennial Choir’s Celebrate Christmas Concert on Friday, December 13th, Wayne Rostad’s Christmas in the Valley show on Saturday, December 14th and a special Christmas Recital at the beautiful Nativité Co-Cathedral on Sunday, December 15th.

The popular Alight at Night festival at Upper Canada Village is also back, beginning on November 29th and running on select nights through to January.

For more information on these and other upcoming events, make sure to check out our Events Calendar!

Additional Events

Looking for other fun things to do in the area? Make sure to check out our Events page for info on upcoming events in Cornwall and SDG Counties.

Dine with us!

From casual to fine dining, local favourites to tastes from around the world, Cornwall has something for everyone. Check out one of our many great restaurants during your visit! For more information, please click here.


Make a night of it and stay in Cornwall! There are a variety of amazing accommodations, from cozy bed and breakfasts to full-service hotels. For more information, please click here.

Visit Cornwall!

Do you have other questions? Cornwall Tourism can help. Email us at to request a copy of our Visitor Guide or contact us at (613) 938-4748. You can also stop by the Cornwall Tourism office at the Cornwall Civic Complex (100 Water Street). The office is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm – we would be happy to answer your questions and provide you with recommendations and information to make your visit to Cornwall even more memorable!

You can also reach out to us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram!

Article and photo by Kevin Lajoie