By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – As the iconic white beard and red suit made its way through a packed crowd of cheering kids, it was clear that Santa Claus is still a huge draw.
Nearly 1,000 people enjoyed an early meal with Santa, as music and holiday-themed mascots all sang-along to upbeat Christmas carols.
The third annual Cornwall Square ‘Santa Arrival Breakfast’ is a part of the local all-day celebration leading up to the Christmas parade.
“This event is growing bigger and bigger,” said Jennifer Seguin MacIsaac, Cornwall Square marketing director.
Shawn Secord and his wife, Melissa, have taken their three kids every year. This time they even skipped their Zumba commitments to meet the ‘Big Man’ himself.
“The kids have a lot of fun, but I might have loved it more,” said Melissa.
Kelsey Lynn Secord, 6, Hailey Jodoin, 7, and Dralen Secord, 3, all had a blast singing and dancing as Santa took the stage to address the crowd.
For Elias Charles and his wife, Elizabeth Izon, taking their two children was a great introduction into small city living. They recently moved to Cornwall from Montreal and enjoy the close-knit community vibe.
“It’s a new experience. In Montreal, we would just take pictures. Today the kids sang, danced and had breakfast. That makes it special,” said Charles.
Arianna Izon-Charles, 6, and Alexander Izon-Charles , 4, both had a few things to ask Santa for Christmas. Arianna wants Crayola markers and Alexander is in dire need of a Mighty Morphing Power Ranger.
After the event, kids swarmed to get their photos taken with Santa Claus in the downstairs level of the mall.