Volunteers from various Aldergrove organizations, who are cooperating to put on this Saturday’s parade and pre-parade events, gathered Tuesday to work on the float that will serve as Santa’s perch during the parade. Featuring an antique sleigh on loan from the B.C. Farm Museum, the float is the concept of Alyssa Nielsen (seated). With her are (left to right) Robin McIntosh, president of the Aldergrove Agricultural Fair and Festivals Association; Sarah Murdoch, owner of Toy Central and president of Aldergrove Business Association; Cashmere Roder, president of Aldergrove Community Association; and Jasmine Burnet of Aldergrove Elks. (Frank Bucholtz/Special to The Star)

Volunteers from various Aldergrove organizations, who are cooperating to put on this Saturday’s parade and pre-parade events, gathered Tuesday to work on the float that will serve as Santa’s perch during the parade. Featuring an antique sleigh on loan from the B.C. Farm Museum, the float is the concept of Alyssa Nielsen (seated). With her are (left to right) Robin McIntosh, president of the Aldergrove Agricultural Fair and Festivals Association; Sarah Murdoch, owner of Toy Central and president of Aldergrove Business Association; Cashmere Roder, president of Aldergrove Community Association; and Jasmine Burnet of Aldergrove Elks. (Frank Bucholtz/Special to The Star)

Santa’s float comes together ahead of Aldergrove’s Light-Up Parade

Mrs. Claus is organizer, builder, and performer on Saturday

By Frank Bucholtz/Special to Aldergrove Star

Is anyone more qualified to put together a Christmas parade float than Mrs. Claus?

Maybe the jolly fellow in the red suit with the white beard is. However, when it comes to the Aldergrove Christmas parade, Alyssa Nielsen (aka Mrs. Claus) is the guiding light behind this year’s Santa float.

Nielsen operated a Christmas party business for 20 years and played the role of Snow White at many past Aldergrove Elks Christmas parties. In fact, she loves to perform and has created many roles over the years.

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This year, she will be performing as Mrs. Claus. She will be performing at the pre-parade event, and she might just be on board Santa’s float, which was being built just days ahead of the parade.

She has been involved with the committee organizing the multitude of Christmas events in Aldergrove and has found the experience very rewarding.

“It is very nice, as a performer, to be involved in the planning. It allows creative energy to be part of the organizing.”

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The Christmas tree lighting last Sunday helped energize her further, as final preparations for Saturday’s events wrap up.

“It was wonderful to see children’s faces. We had cookies donated by Save-On-Foods and candy canes donated by Freshco. It is so nice to see businesses give back.”

As for the float, she has come up with the design. One of the special features on the float will be a genuine black leather antique sleigh, loaned to the Christmas committee by the B.C. Farm Museum in Fort Langley.

“It looks simple and elegant. It looks like it might have been built at the North Pole.”

In past years, Santa rode on the Elks float but Nielsen felt he deserved his own ride.

It is being built this week on a trailer that her mother loaned her. Her stepfather has done some of the platform carpentry on the trailer, and it is being assembled in a barn.

Nielsen said donations have really helped to make it happen, and she particularly thanks Pearce Home Hardware for many of the components donated to make the float special.

What will the final product look like?

Residents will just have to come to the parade to find out, said Mrs. Claus.

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