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Holiday festivities getting started in the Beach

Tis the season of good cheer and there are several seasonal events taking place in the Beach to put you in the merriest of moods.

The sixth annual Beach Santa Claus Parade, left, is the first of a number of traditional holiday events to take place in the East End. The parade runs along Kingston Road, west from Victoria Park, cutting north to end at Community Centre 55. The fun gets underway at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25. BEACH METRO NEWS FILE PHOTO: Phil Lameira

Community Centre 55 is serving up its annual Breakfast with Hamper on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Pancakes, juice and coffee are on the menu, and there will be carolling, craft-making and a special reading for the youngsters. A very special guest from the North Pole is stopping by for a visit between 8:45 and 9:15 a.m. to find out what is on your Christmas list. The price for everything is $3. For more information call Lainey Anderson at 416-691-1113 ext 223.

Christmas in the Park, the annual tree lighting event in Kew Gardens, takes place the same day at 5 p.m. Presented by the Toronto Beaches Lions Club, this annual community event features music, entertainment and candlelight carolling. Mr. and Mrs. Claus are taking time out of their busy schedules to take part in the festivities. The event ends at 7 p.m. The Lions request that you make a donation to 'Loonies for the Lions.'

That evening, the grownups might be interested in raising a glass, along with some funds, at Community Centre 55's 12 Cheers of Christmas Pub Night Fundraiser. A $20 ticket takes you to three local watering holes for drinks, light appetizers and some fun trivia games. The evening begins at 6 p.m. and winds up at midnight. For more information call Lainey at 416-691-1113 ext 223.

Lace up your winter running shoes for the Beaches Runners Club Tannenbaum 10K on Sunday, Dec. 2, in support of CC55. Bring a non-perishable food item or gift for the centre's Share-A-Christmas program. For registration info visit tannenbaum10k.com.

The 5th Annual DeClute 'Light Up the Beach' takes place along the boardwalk on Saturday, Dec. 8 starting at 7 p.m. Follow Santa as he strolls along the boardwalk from the foot of Leuty Avenue to the foot of Beech Avenue, turning on the lights in 20 trees along the way — a total of 80,000 Christmas lights. A choir and band will provide Christmas music and hot chocolate will be available. The event is free but organizers are asking for donations of non-perishable food items, or cash, for Second Harvest food bank. For more information visit lightupthebeach.com.

The 24th season of Carolling in the Park is set for Tuesday, Dec. 11 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Bundle up, bring a flashlight and your singing voice and meet your friends and neighbours in Glen Stewart Park, just south of the bridge. The Salvation Army Band will provide the music and the Beach United Church Choir will supply harmonizing voices. Candy canes, hot chocolate and hot apple cider will be available, and a visit from Santa is always a highlight. A collection for the Salvation Army Band will be taken.

The Beach Hebrew Institute will hold its annual Hannukiah Lighting in Kew Gardens on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m., when the candles of the Menorah will be lit. Afterwards, a delicious latke fest will be held at the synagogue, 109 Kenilworth Ave. For more information call 416-694-7942.

Centre 55's Share-A-Christmas is a year-long initiative that culminates in December with the delivery of food and gift baskets to over 700 local families in need. This year's delivery date is Saturday, Dec. 22 and there is still time to make a donation of gifts or non-perishable foods. Food barrels are located at Community Centre 55, 97 Main St., the Beaches Recreation Centre at 6 Williamson Rd., FreshCo grocery store at Victoria Park and Gerrard, Price Chopper grocery store at Leslie and Lakeshore, and five area CIBC branches (Woodbine and Queen, Balsam and Kingston Road, Coxwell and Danforth, Birchmount and Danforth, and Shoppers World). Some of the items most needed are canned fish or meat, pasta and rice, pasta sauce, peanut butter, jam, canned vegetables, soups and stews, Kraft dinner, baked beans, cereal and large cans of juice. Gift items for kids (especially teens) and pets, are appreciated. Call 416-691-1113 to find out how you can help.

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