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The Santa Claus Parade is fundraising for a new float.

Director Monica Derksen says the old float has been in use for more than 60 years and it’s time for it to retire. A GoFundMe was set up in July, with a $100,000 goal.

“We thought if everyone who’s ever been to the parade gives us $10, they feel like they own a piece of this history and they’ve contributed to making it successful. So we thought we’d offer it to the community to allow them to give back, rather than rely on one or two corporate donations,” says Derksen.

Two Winnipeg shopping malls, Kildonan Place and Grant Park, together donated $6,250 to the fundraising campaign last night.

The contract for the new float has been already been awarded, and Derksen says financial commitments have been made. She says if the group doesn’t raise enough money to cover the cost of it, there’s a risk there will be no parade this year, as there isn’t enough money to go around.

According to the Winnipeg Santa Parade website, the contract has been awarded to J&D Penner. The project, including manufacturing costs, storage, and maintenance, requires $120,000, and there’s a $50,000 grant expiring this year the parade needs to match in its own fundraising.

Derksen says a high-end pickup truck can cost $75,000, and the float has more bells and whistles.

“Because it’s a winter parade, it needs to have a lot of weather proofing… it needs lights to make it special, to make it sparkle. In addition to that we’ll have a sound system so that we can play some festive music, and Santa will get a heated seat for the many hours that he sits up there.”

People can also make donations separate from GoFundMe.

The Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade began in 1909. This will be the 109th year for the parade.

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