By Julia McKay, Kingston Whig-Standard
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 4:53:02 EST PM
Santa Claus wishes the crowds Merry Christmas while he waves from his sleigh during the 2014 Kingston Nighttime Santa Claus parade route on Saturday November 22, 2014.
New to Kingston’s Nighttime Santa Claus Parade this year is the addition of three dedicated, accessible spaces for families and those with disabilities, the Rotary Comfort Zones.
The parade takes place this Saturday, Nov. 18 and will leave from Innovation Park at 5 p.m. and head down Princess Street to Ontario Street.
In partnership with Downtown Kingston, the City of Kingston, Easter Seals Ontario, Southeastern Ontario and Rotary Clubs of Kingston this new spaces will provide ‘conditions needed to bring a family with accessibility needs to the parade’.
The purpose of the Rotary Comfort Zones is to ensure the parade is a safe and accessible event for all.
Offered at a first come, first serve basis the Rotary Comfort Zones are designed for ‘people with accessibility issues with a focus on children’.
With not all disabilities being visible to those around and with families with accessibility needs may struggle with a variety of issues like; vision problems, mobility issues, toileting issues, sensitivity or allergy to cold, low muscle tone and complex medical issues.
Each Comfort Zone will:
- Have a minimum of 2 well-informed volunteers on site to advise parade goers and help maintain the area.
- Be cordoned off with stanchions to ensure only families in need use the space provided.
- Be located as close as possible to a public parking lot that will have additional accessibility spaces available for the evening.
- Be located as close as possible to an accessible bathroom.
The three Rotary Comfort Zones along the parade route are:
- Giant Tiger, located in front of the Giant Tiger at 811 Princess Street. Please arrive by 5 p.m.
- Windmills Café, located in front of Windmills at 184 Princess St. Please arrive by 5:15 p.m.
- Milestones Grill and Bar, located in front of Milestones at 27 Princess St. Please arrive by 5:30 p.m.
Once the parade gets underway, any unused space within these three zones will be opened up to the general public.
For more information, go online to http://www.downtownkingston.ca