Many people don’t realize this, but Santa Claus’ holiday season begins in La Porte, Indiana. The big guy himself travels downtown by festive parade escort service, landing at his historic Chalet, where families can visit him throughout the season. The La Porte Santa Parade is a time-honored tradition for the city and serves as a community-minded start to family holiday traditions across the Region.
Hosted by the La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership (LEAP), Downtown La Porte, and Downtown La Porte Main Street Association, the La Porte Santa Parade is free of charge and takes place on November 30 at 11:00 a.m. The nonprofit event allows local business and organization participants to exhibit holiday-themed floats and walking troupes as onlookers cheer from the sidewalks.
Of course, everybody’s waiting for the man with the bag. Led in by such fanfare, his presence is even more exciting to behold as he waves down to the crowd from a La Porte Fire Department truck. After making his journey to the Chalet, residing at Plaza 618, children have the opportunity to sit on his lap and whisper their Christmas wishes and requests. As part of the First Winter Market at Plaza 618, refreshments are available for patient parents and crowd millers, as an iconic 18-foot-tall Santa Claus statue watches over.
The La Porte Santa Parade marks just the beginning of a full holiday season in La Porte. Immediately following the Parade, community members have the chance to browse for gifts and participate in a scavenger hunt at a Shop Small Saturday event from 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. and attend a Tree Lighting Ceremony at 4:00 p.m.
LEAP and corresponding organizations have also announced a holiday-themed pub crawl, the Santa Crawl, set for December 7 from 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.; the annual downtown Cookie Walk on December 14 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.; another Winter Market at Plaza 618 on December 14 from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.; and, of course, the opportunity to visit Santa at Plaza 618 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. every Saturday leading up to Christmas.
Commemorative tins are now available to families so they can collect their treats during the annual downtown Cookie Walk. Featuring an illustration paying homage to the film ‘Prancer,’ which was filmed in parts of La Porte, the tins are $10 and will be available at the LEAP office.
Santa could use some help ushering in his arrival at the parade, and some extra help keeping his Chalet cozy. To sign up as a participant in the parade, visit the La Porte Santa Parade Facebook page. Santa’s historic Chalet is in need of some TLC, and LEAP is seeking sponsors to help secure funding for new provisions. Sponsors will be promoted via programming through the holiday season and will receive a banner ad on LEAP’s website. Find out more here: https://laportecounty.life/article/save-the-chalet/.
Prepare for Santa’s arrival in La Porte and all the subsequent merriment the season has to offer. Mark your calendars for November 30 and get excited for the La Porte Santa Parade.