Ville de Gatineau

Important: This year the parade will be held on Saturday December 2nd!

Our history

Back in 1994, Mr. Serge Parent broaches the idea of a parade to welcome Santa in Aylmer. With the hep of Mrs Donna Lee Graham a first parade is held on a Saturday afternoon, on Principale Street.

  • In 1998, the parade takes a break and comes back renewed in 1999.
  • In 1999, for the first time, Santa’s Parade lights up Principale Street.
  • Proud of her five parades, Mrs Graham retires.
  • In 2000, Mr Daniel Rochon, offers to help and organizes the three next parade.
  • In 2003, the city of Gatineau awards the Parade a trophy for Community event of the Year.
  • The parade wins the Best of Aylmer , reader’s choice, for the Annual Events category in 2016 and 2017 and 2018
  • In 2019 The parade celebrated it 's 25th edition.
  • In 2020 there was no parade but the Christmas Market was a big success.
  • In 2021, the parade was stopped, i.e. the floats were parked on Principale St. and people walked by. The Christmas Market was held in a New location, in the streets around the Cultural Centre, La Basoche (Broad, Patrimoine and Park).
  • In 2022, it's the return of the traditional Santa Claus parade.

Aylmer’s parade becomes Gatineau’s parade

Volunteer work, community support and successful annual events contributed to the decision of the new City of Gatineau to award Santa’s parade to Aylmer.

In 2003, Mrs Pascale Beaudoin, accepts to manage the parade and it grows by leaps and bonds. More lights, more entries, more music, more notoriety and more spectators. Pascale is helped by a dynamic team.

In 2018, after being involved in the Parade for 15 years, Mme Pascale Beaudoin leaves to organisation to make room for new volunteers.

Mme Mylène Deneault becomes the new President.

Birth of the Christmas Market

In 2014, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Parade and continue the fun over a weekend, the comitee organises an authentic Christmas market and offers more animation in the Carré patrimonial (Heritage Square). In 2015, a new name and a new image for the event is revealed.

Community Engagement

Year after year the organisers recruit students for surrounding high schools and colleges in order to involve them in volunteer work. Each year, 50 to 70 high school students, 150 students from college programs, photographers, communication, police, marketing, event management join the regular volunteer team to learn and help with the event. A lot of the floats are also created and manned by volunteers.