‘Parade of Lights’ shaping up nicely

The local Business Improvement Association will be holding the 49th-annual “Parade of Lights” this Saturday (Nov. 25) and this year’s holiday event is shaping up to be one of the best of late.
“I think we’ll get a good turnout and it will be a lot of fun this year,” BIA co-ordinator Patti Anderson said yesterday. “I just pray for good weather.”
Anderson noted 15 floats have pre-registered so far and speculated at least another 10 will show up for the parade line-up.
“Since my time [with the BIA], this has been the most people that have ever registered before the parade. Usually they just show up,” she added. “I think the extra advertising that we did made people think.
“I’m going to have to put that in the file and make sure do it next year for the 50th.”
Anderson stressed it’s not too late to enter a float in Saturday’s parade. There’s no specific theme this year other than “Parade of Lights,” which, as the name implies, encourages participants to use lots of lights on their floats for the evening parade.
As well, those who enter floats are encouraged not to throw candy out to parade-watchers, and also keep in mind that no Santa Clauses are needed as jolly St. Nick already has been arranged for.
Those interested in entering a float should call Anderson at 274-7502. Leave a message if she’s not there.
Anderson also is looking for more volunteers, mainly to ensure the streets are closed during the parade. This involves setting up the barricades and taking them down afterwards.
The parade will be much the same as previous years. It will start at 6 p.m. at the Shevlin wood yard, but those entering floats should show up starting at 5 p.m. so the judges can choose the prize winners by 5:30.
The route will follow Scott Street to Central Avenue.
Walking with the floats along the way will be volunteers collecting “Mitts for Kids” while B93•FM staff once again will be gathering unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items for the local Salvation Army.
Canada Post will be collecting children’s letters to Santa.
After the parade, the public then is encouraged to drop by the New Beginnings Fellowship (beside the Lakeview Trailer Court) from 7-8:30 p.m. for free Christmas refreshments and carolling.
In related news, it also will begin to look a lot like Christmas this week on Scott Street—just in time for the parade.
Just as some stores have started decorating, the Fort Frances Power Corp. will be putting up the BIA’s lighted “snowflakes” on the downtown area’s lamp posts, helping to create more of a winter wonderland atmosphere.
“They donate that service to us, which we really appreciate,” noted Anderson. “They’re busy guys.”
Anderson added another downtown holiday tradition—“Lunch with Santa”—is scheduled for next Saturday (Dec. 2).
The lunch will take place at Warp 9 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Cost is $2 per child. Parents can take their own child’s photo with Santa or buy a Polaroid taken by a photographer for a nominal fee.
Anderson said she still needs volunteers to help with “Lunch with Santa,” as it is a very busy event that regularly draws 300-350 youngsters.