About 300,000 people gathered to watch Santa Claus sleigh his way through downtown Vancouver yesterday at the seventh annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade.

“Every year it’s gotten better and better,” said Megan Ritter, who’s been bringing her seven-year-old son to the parade since its start in 2004.

The parade’s signature red and green made room for some blue as about 150 blue-jacket-clad Olympic and Paralympic volunteers took part in the march.

“It’s an opportunity for the people of Vancouver to express their appreciation for a job well done,” said Ryan Nickerson, the parade’s spokesman, about the work of the volunteers during the Vancouver Winter Games.

Parade organizers hope the event will do more than just give thanks. Nickerson said the prime focus of this year’s parade was to raise donations for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.

“When we hit summer, that’s when it’ll start to show up that supplies are low,” said Cheryl Prepchuk, a spokeswoman for the food bank.

With 80 per cent of year-round supplies collected in the month of December, Prepchuk said she hopes the parade will kick off the season of giving.

Donations can be made online by visiting foodbank.bc.ca.