SYDENHAM, ONT. -- Santa Claus Parades have returned to the region, and in South Frontenac they held theirs today in Sydenham, which sits 30 minutes north of Kingston.

After a year-long hiatus under COVID-19, residents say they’re grateful the annual tradition is back in town.

The annual parade has been a staple for the community for decades.

Those like 8-year-old Autumn Reid know exactly what they love.

"Getting candy canes," she says.

Weaving its way through the streets, the parade is put on by the South Frontenac Fire Department.

Firefighter Shane Kidd say that they estimate about 1,000 spectators from across the rural community came to watch it this year, making it one of their biggest parades yet.

"Seeing all those smiling faces on the kids, it clearly means a lot. They loved seeing all the floats,” he says. "Tradition means a lot, it’s super important to make sure that traditions continue year in, and year out."

South Frontenac Mayor Ron Vandewal agrees.

"That felt very exciting," Vandewal says of the parade. "You can tell the community wants this, you can tell by the amount of people on the floats, they wanted this (parade) back and they were excited to get it."

Mom Bailey Jackson brought her three kids, including 3-year-old Harper.

"Sydenham does such a great job with doing theirs; bringing everyone together, getting in the spirit, having fun. My kids are clearly loving it!"

As COVID-19 cases climb in the region, and the local health unit of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington announces restrictions on indoor gatherings, parents like Chrystal Plant are just happy to be able to celebrate outdoors with her young family.

"I always loved going to Santa Claus Parades when I was a kid, so today I think I might be more excited than this little guy."