BIA floats idea of drive-through Santa Parade

A Ready-Mix Concrete truck rolls through Cloverdale Dec. 1, 2019 for the 14th annual Surrey Santa Parade of Lights. This year’s parade will not go ahead in its traditional form, but may occur as a drive-through event. (Photo: Olivia Johnson)
A woman crosses 176 Street in a photo circa 1961. Duckworth’s and the Cloverdale Hotel can be seen on the right. Paul Orazietti, executive director for the Cloverdale BIA, said he’s installing decorative lighting, much like the lighting seen in the photo, across 176th Street. (Courtesy of the Surrey Archives / 180.1.85)
Paul Orazietti, executive director for the Cloverdale BIA, is seen on Sept. 17, 2020. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

A parade of cars may replace the procession of floats for this year’s Surrey Santa Parade of Lights.

Paul Orazietti, executive director for the Cloverdale BIA, and chief organizer for the annual event, said the regular parade won’t happen, but added a car-only event may occur in December.

“We cannot encourage people to stand on the side of the road and stand beside each other,” said Orazietti. “We have to answer a couple of questions about a possible drive-through parade, but hopefully within a week or so we’ll be able to formally announce if it will go ahead or not.”

The idea is that a parade of cars would stream through the fairgrounds on a one-way circuit to view all the static floats.

“We started talking to everyone [involved with the parade] and they all said they wanted to do something,” noted Orazietti.

He said the idea for a drive-through parade of lights came on the heels of a car show at the Tradex building in Abbotsford.

SEE ALSO: PHOTOS: Surrey Santa Parade of Lights rolls through Cloverdale

“The vehicles were put inside and people drove through to view the cars,” explained Orazietti. “So I called the guy at the rodeo and he said, ‘yeah, that sounds cool.’ After that, the biggest roadblock then was the City, but I called them and they said, ‘Wow! What a great idea.’”

Orazietti added that they’ve already mapped out the route cars would take on the fairgrounds, looked at how many people they can handle at once, and studied how they would keep traffic flowing smoothly.

“It’s premature to say it will go ahead, because we still have some logistics to work out,” said Orazietti. “But if we do, ultimately, people could drive into the fairgrounds down by the Truck Museum—there’d be people there accepting donations for the same charities we always support, the food bank, the Christmas Bureau, the Cloverdale Kitchen, and the Rodeo Foundation—and they’d be able to wind their way along in their vehicles and enjoy viewing the floats.”

Orazietti said he’s had good feedback already from an informal Facebook survey.

SEE ALSO: Cloverdale BIA reaches out to businesses and workers affected by COVID-19

“We had over 16,000 responses and the bulk have been very positive. Some have suggested a two-day event. So we are looking at few different scenarios.”


In other BIA news, Orazietti said he’s one step away from installing new lighting on 176th Street.

“We’re waiting on one last technical report from the manufacturer.”

The retro, tungsten-style lights would be strung across the street at numerous points from lamppost to lamppost—much like Cloverdale had in the 1960s (see Surrey Archives picture)—on 176th Street between Highway 10 and 58A Avenue. He said lights will also go up in Hawthorne Square.

According to Orazietti, the BIA is covering the cost for the lights, but he’s hoping the City can donate the power.

SEE ALSO: ‘Supernatural’ brings the 1950s to Cloverdale

“Over a five-year time period, these lights have 100,000 hours of life.”

He said the automatic-sensor lights will come on in the early evening and shut off sometime after 11 p.m.

“It’s decorative lighting. We want to make the area brighter,” Orazietti explained. “The idea is that we create a light canopy.”

Orazietti said he doesn’t have a timeline for when the lights will be installed, but he thinks they’ll be put in sometime in the next month or so.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

ParadeSanta Claus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Matthew Campbell, director of the Fraser Valley Regional Food Bank, stands amongst a large amount of non-perishable food and household items being stored inside the Pacific Community Church. This year’s ‘Halloween For Hunger’ food drive, put on by students at Clayton Heights, will go to benefit the Fraser Valley Regional Food Bank. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Clayton Heights Secondary kicks off annual ‘Halloween for Hunger’ event

Students to collect much-needed items for food bank

Surrey RCMP cruisers outside a Newton townhouse Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
UPDATE: Toddler in hospital, woman dead following stabbings at Surrey townhouse

Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue

The Surrey Eagles are currently seeking billet families for its players in advance of the 2020-‘21 BC Hockey League season. (Garrett James photo)
Surrey Eagles in ‘desperate’ need of billet families for BCHL season

COVID-19 pandemic has made finding homes for players difficult: billet co-ordinator

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Diamond School in Surrey reporting COVID-19 exposure

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
OUR VIEW: Lenient courts aren’t helping

It’s hard to fault the palpable frustration of Metro Vancouver Transit Police

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

John Horgan brought the NDP campaign to Langley on Wednesday, Oct. 21, just three days before the B.C. vote (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Horgan brings NDP campaign to Langley

Predicts gains, says people are looking at the party ‘differently’ after three years

Brody Peterson said he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Brody Peterson told The Gazette he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks RCMP recommend criminal charges after weekend party

Homeowner Brody Peterson said he’ll dispute tickets for refusing police instructions, alleged COVID violations

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
At least 26% of eligible voters have already cast a ballot, Elections BC says

Voters can cast a ballot until 8 p.m PST on Election Day

RCMP were called to an assault in the 23700-block of 110 Ave in Maple Ridge Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (Curtis Kreklau/Special to The News)
PHOTOS: Assault in Maple Ridge sends three men to hospital

RCMP were called to a residence Tuesday night

A 2018 decision to fly a rainbow flag ended up costing the City of Langley $62,000 in legal fees (Langley Advance Times file)
Human rights win in rainbow flag fight cost B.C. city $62,000

“Lengthy and involved” process provoked by complaint

Most Read