Parade in works for ‘Holly Daze’

Members of the Emo Chamber of Commerce agreed Monday night to go ahead with plans for a Santa Claus parade—an event which typically hasn’t been included in the annual “Holly Daze” events, which will be held Dec. 1-2 this year.
“I think it’s a good idea,” noted president Colleen Vennechenko. “We just need people to commit to it.”
Several of the members on hand for Monday night’s meeting said they would be willing to put a float in the parade, and the group brainstormed ideas of other clubs and organizations that might be interested in participating.
But one problem was raised—some of the store owners noted the difficulty of keeping their businesses open while getting a float prepared for the Saturday evening.
As such, it was suggested the parade and fireworks be held on the Friday evening instead.
“That way there wouldn’t be the pressure to keep people there Saturday night for the fireworks,” remarked Paul Koomans, owner of Norlund Oil in Emo. “People wouldn’t have to wait around.”
He added he found the pre-Christmas celebration lost momentum on the Saturday afternoon anyway.
It also was noted that if the weather wasn’t favourable on Friday, the parade and fireworks then could be pushed to Saturday.
With the agreement of members, Vennechenko said they’d plan the events for Friday evening. Businesses could close at 5 p.m., the parade could begin 5:30 p.m., and the fireworks could follow at 6 p.m.
But she stressed familiar “Holly Daze” events, like pictures with Santa Claus, the bonfire at the park, and the draw for “Emo Bucks,” still will be held on the Saturday.
In related news, some ideas for new events for “Holly Daze” had been brought forward at a previous meeting, including a curling bonspiel, a hockey skills challenge, and a ice sculpture contest, but Vennechenko had more suggestions to add to the list Monday.
Gaydonna Baker, owner of the Rejuvenate Fitness Club in Emo, had proposed a five-km “fun run” be held, as well as a Christmas beautiful baby contest.
It also was noted the “Friends of the Library” in Emo will be hosting a Gingerbread House Charity Challenge, where businesses, groups, or individuals make a gingerbread house and offer the proceeds to a charity of their choice.
In other business Monday night, Vennechenko congratulated Jason Lilley, owner of Northridge Funeral Home, on the opening of his facility, as well as his recent business awards nominations.
The meeting was held at the funeral home as Northridge is the newest member of the Emo Chamber.
The next meeting is slated for Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Emo Inn. Members are asked to bring along their ideas for their parade floats.