Friday, November 30, 2012

Santa Claus is Coming to Town 1953 - II

I've been a little late in getting to work on my Santa Claus colouring book but I've had a bit of a time finding a good old fashioned box of crayons. These days they have colours like Fairy Princess Blue and Little Girl Pink - I mean come on guys I want a box of crayons not clothes from the GAP!!!!

But here I am, crayons at the ready - let the parade begin!

I seem to recall that the parade always began with the Toronto Police Band - not a Metro entity in those days - playing "Jingle Bells". On can only think that after 2 hours of that cheerful little ditty that a dash to the Pilot Tavern was more favoured than dashing through any snow.

First appearing in the Toronto Parade in 1947 Punkinhead became a fixture for the next two decades.  He was the creation of Charles Thorson, one of the early Disney animators, who hailed from Winnipeg.  Thorson created Bugs Bunny amongst other famous cartoon characters, Patricia Atchison tells us the origins of the wool-haired bear and his colourful creator.  Note that even back then the marketing people were busy and any true bloody Canadian kid has hounded their parents into buying them a Punkinhead doll, watch, puppet, bedside lamp or, for the real die-hard Punkinhead aficionado, PJs.   As I recall the books were often free as gifts at the Punkinhead Fish Pond or as you disembarked from the Punkinhead Express that took you on a tour of Toyland.

One can only hope that the mermaids, mermen and good King Nepture himself were all well insulated under their scales and tails.  Taking into consideration the cold that could hit the Queen's City in the middle of November the costumes were made one size larger so that they could be worn over warm winter woolies.

The children of Eaton's employees and students selected from various schools appeared on the floats as flowers, fairies, elves and Snow White's seven.  If you appeared in the parade you had to endure fittings, some rehearsing and showing up at the Christie Pits marshalling area at 0630 on parade morning.   Over the years thousands of children were more than happy to do exactly that for the honour of welcoming Santa to town.

 30 November - 1886: The Folies Bergère stages its first revue.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

No matter what goofy colours they have today, I bet crayons still smell the same. Am I right?

Laurent said...

Did you have Pumpkin Head Bear PJs?

Willym said...

@Debra - and taste the same????

@Laurent - ah yes I did... along with a Punkinhead doll and a Punkinhead puppet.....