Parade prep: Behind the scenes of Country Grocer’s Christmas floats

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WatchChristmas is just around the corner and that means it's almost time for Santa and his elves to parade through the streets. Jasmine Bala caught up with Country Grocer to see how their floats are coming along and how they're using the Christmas spirit to bring them to life.

The Grinch may have tried to steal Christmas in the past, but this time, he’s bringing the holiday cheer.

With Christmas just around the corner, Country Grocer is working to bring their Santa Claus parade floats to life. This year, they decided on Grinch and elf-themed floats.

“It’s just an iconic thing to put out there for the kids because they recognize it,” said Pete Pimlott, the owner of Lake Cowichan’s Country Grocer store. “You know, the Grinch is darn near as big as Santa. But not quite, because Santa’s still king.”

The two floats will be joining parades in Victoria, Lake Cowichan, Ladysmith and Esquimalt. The Grinch is brand new this year and took about three weeks to build.

“The Grinch is made out of fiberglass and auto body filler and motors and a bunch of fur I got off eBay and eyeballs I got from… a taxidermist place,” said David Gray, the float builder.

The sleigh is made of frames and wood, while the presents are made of Styrofoam. Everything except the Grinch is recycled from previous years.

“I get bits and pieces and there’s no real particular rhyme or reason. I just take what I have and stick something up there and if it looks good, it stays. And if it doesn’t look so good, it goes back in my storage,” Gray explained.

Country Grocer has been participating in Santa Claus parades for 30 years, but the floats looked a little different when they first began the tradition.

“We built our first ones out of a little garbage trailer basically and dragged it around,” said Pimlott. “I think before that we had a shopping cart decorated and we took that in a parade.”

Although being in the parades is a form of advertisement for the store, Pimlott said that’s not the reason Country Grocer participates in them.

“Really it’s doing something for our communities, doing something for the children,” Pimlott said. “There is nothing more fun than seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces when you got something like the Grinch coming up the road.”

Jasmine BalaJasmine Bala

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