Panda meets Santa on the Rock

This year, the sun came out just in time as the parade started on its way down Duckworth Street.  There is always a vast assortment of floats, marching bands, cheerleaders, dogs, dance groups, clowns and other loony characters… but this year the Panda made an appearance!  WWF-Canada, Atlantic Region was a participant in this spectacular event, as the Panda (aka, me!) danced down the parade route and extended holiday greetings to the spectators together with Shelley Dwyer and Susan Fudge from the St. John’s office.  Many little ones ran up, arms wide open for a hug, while parents snapped pictures.  Everyone loved the Panda. It was a warm welcome despite the chill in the air.
DT Christmas Parade St Johns 2010 Sue Panda
(c) Wendy Skinner/WWF-Canada
Our St. John’s office is still fairly young in the WWF-Canada organization, so our presence is not widely known in the community. Being a participant in the parade gave us a chance to let St. John’s know we are here, working on conservation issues that affect their region, while delivering our best wishes for the holiday season. In the Atlantic Region WWF-Canada is working towards a proactive and collaborative approach to emphasize the importance of marine conservation and ecosystem health, by working with stakeholders, governments, the fishing industry and other NGOs.  Our focus in this area is ecoregion planning, habitat protection, species conservation, and sustainable fisheries.  We are also involved in events focused on raising awareness for issues like climate change and oceans health, such as Earth Hour, Oceans Day and Envirofests.
Children, both young and old, waited patiently for Kris Kringle himself to appear towards the end of the parade.  They could hear the “Ho, Ho, Ho’s” as he was getting closer and closer.   Eyes lit up and everyone yelled “Merry Christmas Santa!”  Smiles all around.
(c) Wendy Skinner/WWF-Canada
And Merry Christmas to you too!