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Santa parade to try new format

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Elf Without Jingles

Santa parade to try new format

Wednesday, 2nd October, 2013 @ 1:38 pm | by Duane Hicks, Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada Times

 

EXCERPT:

 

FORT FRANCES, ONTARIO, CANADA --- Organizers will be trying out a fresh concept for this year's Christmas Parade: a stationary one.

 

Instead of being a procession that would go down Scott Street after sunset, the Parade, which has been set for Saturday, November 30th, will see a series of floats parked along there during the day.

 

The idea is that people would come downtown that day, and be able to view all the floats at their own leisure. Furthermore, a series of activities will be organized around each float in the stationary parade.

 

"The idea was actually suggested by Doug Anderson from Betty's; and we've been discussing it with Richard Boileau from McTaggart's," said Robin Payeur from Causeway General Insurance Brokers Ltd., which has spearheaded the Christmas Parade here since 2009. "We're looking at having an all-day event in downtown Fort Frances in conjunction with the Business Improvement Association."

 

Anderson explained that last year's parade had seen poor participation and was thus in need of a shot in the arm. Anderson was inspired by his late uncle, Harlan ("Hub") Ballard, who wouldn't attend the Rose Parade while he was living in California, but would instead take in the parade preparations on the night before the actual event.

 

That gave him the opportunity to look closely at all of the floats, and talk individually with each of the people who were working on them.

 

Uncle Hub suggested that maybe all parades should be like that --- stationary --- and the concept stuck with Anderson, who also reasoned that some local seniors, especially those in long-term care, aren't usually able to attend the Santa Claus Parade.

 

He recalled visiting his late aunt, Jessie Miller, in Rainycrest during a Christmas party, and how the holiday festivities put a smile upon the residents' faces. With the parade being stationary and the road blocked to traffic, a shuttle bus could transport seniors from Rainycrest to the downtown area and then just drive down the fire lane, letting them see each float, thereby rekindling the spark of holiday joy within them, said Anderson.

 

This year's parade theme will be "A Festival of Frost" --- a title that Anderson says he had been kicking around for more than 10 years.

 

SOURCE:

 

   

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Santa Johnny Boy

I think you need to have a parade first, then leave the floats parked for viewing.

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KKringle

It is sad that there is no interest or participation. We have to keep our parade down to 30 floats and we end up with around 35. We are in the process in making sure no organization or group is turned away. Participation is not our problem. Keeping people out of the road way is our problem.

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Santa Johnathan

Going to the parade was an event, a time that you would be completely amazed and see things that you would never normally see.

 

Here in 1918 (see photo)...people crowded the streets to see Santa, they do not need to now. Unless you are the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade...these small hometown parades are depending on tradition but frankly, many people don't care. Many do not see tradition, they don't bother with history, there is little appreciation of the past. I know our little local parades are a joke, we have our Fiesta Days parade every year and it's just one big commercial with a junkie little float from the local businesses with all of the employees waiving at people...I don't need/want to see that. Now, if these businesses actually put time, effort, care, and attention into these floats, I bet I'd love to see the parade every year. I do not need to see 15 clean garbage trucks, 3 different corvette clubs, or another miniature car troupe from the Shriners. These parades become boring and they need to do more than make them stationary to make them more appealing. 

 

On any given day during the holidays, I could be looking at a Santa face to face in about 15 minutes. I'm sad to see the parade in question change so much...part of the parade experience is seeing what's coming up, waiting in anticipation. With television, amazing picture and sound quality, sometimes...you'll get no better view than being at home. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Rose Parade...those I will have no problem going to watch, because they are a celebration and a spectacle something you just can see everywhere. It takes more and more to entertain. 

 

gallery_5169_1273_2067.jpg

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Elf Without Jingles

I think you need to have a parade first, then leave the floats parked for viewing.

 

Of course, that notion is sensible, but what it's boiling down to, needless to say, is economics. Fort Frances is obviously a very small town with an extremely limited amount of resources; the key problem they're trying to solve is: how do you keep a tradition going without disappointing people who depend on such traditions the most? If it gets to a point where you need to think outside the box, then that has to be the appropriate conclusion. Something to think about......

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Elf Without Jingles

It is sad that there is no interest or participation. We have to keep our parade down to 30 floats and we end up with around 35. We are in the process in making sure no organization or group is turned away. Participation is not our problem. Keeping people out of the road way is our problem.

 

 

Precisely the kind of innovation I've just now described. I like that Kringleville is developing this "no-float-left-behind" concept; I hope KKringle will update us about further plans in that regard.

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