12/07/2014 12:56 EST | Updated 02/06/2015 05:59 EST

Vancouver Rogers Santa Claus parade kicks off festive season

More than 300,000 are expected to attend the 11th annual Rogers Santa Claus parade which gets underway this afternoon at 1 p.m. PT in downtown Vancouver.

This year's parade features more than 60 marching bands, choirs, floats and community groups.

Festivities start at 10:30 a.m with two-and-a-half hours of family entertainment at Christmas Square in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Activities include gingerbread decorating, face painting, a letters to Santa section, balloon twisting, an entertainment stage and a food bank drop-off zone.

Spectators are being asked to get into the spirit of the holiday season by bringing a non-perishable food item for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank or donating a dollar.

CBC is also accepting online donations for its annual food bank fundraiser that started with Friday's Open House and Food Bank Day at CBC studios

Food bank donations will also be collected along the parade route, at Christmas Square and at the Burrard Street SkyTrain station.

The 1.8 kilometre parade starts at Georgia and Broughton Streets, travels east on Georgia to Howe Street, turns south on Howe, and finishes at Howe and Davie Streets.

Parking restrictions and road closures

SET-UP AND MARSHALLING AREA (see streets listed here)

Parking restrictions in effect 6:00 a.m. PT to 5:00 p.m. PT 

Road Closures: 7:00 a.m. PT to 3:30 pm

-  South side West Georgia between Cardero and Broughton,

-  Both sides Alberni between Cardero and Jervis

-  Both sides Nicola between West Georgia and Robson

-  Both sides Broughton between West Georgia and Robson

-  West Georgia will remain open as long as possible prior to the parade but road closures will be in effect on above sections of Alberni, Nicola and Broughton Streets.

PARADE ROUTE ( see streets listed here)

Parking restrictions in effect 8:00a.m PT to 5:00 p.m. PT

Road Closures in effect 10:30am to 5:00pm

-  West Georgia from Cardero to Seymour

-  Howe from Dunsmuir to Davie

DISPERSAL AREA  (see streets listed below)

Parking restrictions in effect 7:00 a.m. pt to 5:00 p.m. PT 

Road Closures: 10:00a.m. pt to 5:00 p.m. PT

-  Both sides Hornby, between Davie and Pacific

-  Both sides Drake, between Howe and Burrard,

-  East side Burrard from Pacific to Davie

-  The above sections of Hornby, Drake and Burrard

City work crews will be posting temporary no stopping signs along the parade route and in the marshalling and dispersal areas.

Vancouver Police  are also on hand assisting with our road closures and any safety-related issues. We will make every effort to ensure the roads are re-opened as quickly as possible. 

Anyone with questions about the parade may call Rogers' organizers at 604-646-3553.