Strong winds ruin parade, Santa to return Dec. 16

By Jake Davies - West Carleton Online

CARP – Wiped out by Saturday’s (Dec. 11) terrible and damaging weather, the organizers of the 12th annual Carp Santa Claus parade want to ensure the West Carleton Food Access Centre (WCFAC) is supported and the kids of West Carleton still get a chance to see Santa.

High winds, freezing rain, and a deluge combined to cancel the Saturday event organized by the Carp Agricultural Society (CAS) and the Huntley Community Association (HCA). The stationary parade was to be the second time in a row the community organized a drive-through style Santa parade due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year’s event was a huge success, despite the drenching volunteers endured during the rainy night. OF course, the much larger crowd of those enjoying the parade were high and dry in their cars, which lined all four major arteries leading to the Carp Fairgrounds.

But this year’s weather was considerably worse. Environment Canada was predicting winds of up to 85 kilometres an hour and as much as 40 millimetres of rain yesterday. The CAS officially cancelled the event yesterday morning, and very tough decision was definitely the right decision.

While the Kanata area only ended up receiving 10.3 mm Saturday, the wind howled through the night.

The winds started picking up around 6 p.m. yesterday evening reaching around 30 km/h and peaking at about 56 km/h in the Ottawa area a few hours later. The weather tracking at the Ottawa McDonald-Cartier International Airport recorded gusts reaching 80 km/h around 11 p.m. and in that range all night long.

Trees were toppled and Ottawa Hydro crews worked throughout the night to restore power to various parts of the city including West Carleton.

“After working through the night, crews are continuing their restoration work this morning to restore power to a few residual outages left on our service territory,” Hydro Ottawa released in a statement this morning (Dec. 11). “We appreciate everyone’s patience.”

Last year’s event was a huge fundraiser for the WCFAC. So,  in an effort to recoup some of the food bank donations lost due to the parade’s cancellation, the CAS and HCA will bring Santa back to the Carp Fairgrounds this Thursday (Dec. 16).

“Attention Carp and surrounding communities, we are still accepting WCFAC donations,” the Carp Fair released in a statement yesterday (Dec. 11). “Please be sure to bring your donations to Santa on Thursday, Dec. 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Carp Fairgrounds. Your help and generosity is greatly appreciated by all.”

Santa Claus will be dropping by to say thank you to those who come by.

“Drive through the fairgrounds and see our Christmas lights and say hi to Santa,” the Carp Fair said.

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