Santa Claus pa­rades can be messy too

The Compass - - OPINION - — Ni­cholas Mercer is a re­porter/pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass. His favourite sugar treat is, hands down, candy rock­ets. He lives in Bay Roberts and can be reached at nmercer@cb­n­com­

Santa Claus pa­rades pro­vide us with a burst of ex­cite­ment ev­ery year. They play on our de­sires to re­live ev­ery Christ­mas as we did as a child. They al­low us to be that five-year-old kid on Christ­mas morn­ing for that pe­riod of time. They can also be a haz­ard to the en­vi­ron­ment. But, how can some­thing so steeped in the prom­ise of magic be bad for any­thing? Just hear this out for a minute. Candy is a part of ev­ery Christ­mas pa­rade. Each one you at­tend, you’re bound to get a hand­ful of sweets with each pass­ing float. There are suck­ers, jaw break­ers, var­i­ous types of chew­ing gum and, of course, the tra­di­tional candy canes.

There are even times when the candy is chucked at you from a pass­ing float. And, therein lies the prob­lem. It was all in good fun when the candy was strewn about for happy chil­dren to pick up and place in their pock­ets. But, what of the af­ter­math? Walk the pa­rade routes mo­ments after it passes and you can’t help but be drawn to the dis­carded candy — still in its wrap­per — strewn about. In some in­stances, crows made off with the candy. At least some­thing was go­ing to en­joy it, hey. Quite frankly, it was a mess. It is the un­sightly re­sult of Christ­mas pa­rades and some­thing the towns have to ex­am­ine be­fore the hol­i­day sea­son next year.

Lit­ter has been a big thing in the area for the past cou­ple of years. Coun­cil­lors are sick of see­ing the rem­nants of fast food left on their high­ways and in the ditches.

That is why it is so sur­pris­ing to see such a large amount of candy go­ing to waste on the side of the road.

With peo­ple walk­ing the route and hand­ing out candy, surely there was no need to al­low candy to be thrown on the road.

In de­fence of the pa­rades, it is not a common oc­cur­rence at th­ese events. In fact, this is prob­a­bly the first time in sev­eral years that lit­ter was such a no­tice­able thing.

Th­ese pa­rades are well-oiled ma­chines. They gen­er­ally start on time, pro­vide fleet­ing mo­ments of joy to thou­sands of res­i­dents in the re­gion and give a glimpse of what can hap­pen when ev­ery­one is work­ing to­gether.

It is hard to un­der­sell Santa Claus pa­rades. They are mag­nets for joy and hap­pi­ness. Did this damper any­one’s spir­its? No, candy rarely does. The lit­ter could have been avoided though.

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