County pa­rades a suc­cess

Safety of par­tic­i­pants in pa­rades be­comes paramount af­ter tragic ac­ci­dent in Yar­mouth

The Victoria Standard - - Local News - CAR­OLYN BAR­BER

Vic­to­ria County wel­comed in this year’s hol­i­day sea­son with two spe­cial Christ­mas pa­rades.

The Vil­lage of Bad­deck held its first ever pa­rade of lights on Nov. 24 as part the vil­lage’s “Mag­i­cal Sea­side Christ­mas”. A week later, In­go­nish marked its tenth evening pa­rade.

Both Vic­to­ria County pa­rades passed with­out mishap, some­thing pa­rade com­mit­tees north and south of Smokey are re­flect­ing on in light of the Nov. 24 pa­rade tragedy on the main­land. Dur­ing the night­time Santa Claus pa­rade in Yar­mouth, a four-year old died af­ter fall­ing un­der a float.

"We were dev­as­tated. I can't even imag­ine what they're go­ing through," said In­go­nish Ac­tiv­i­ties So­ci­ety mem­ber Shelly Coones on Nov. 27.

In the days lead­ing up to the Dec. 1 In­go­nish pa­rade, the In­go­nish Ac­tiv­i­ties So­ci­ety ramped up com­mu­ni­ca­tions about pa­rade safety re­mind­ing float driv­ers to stay a safe dis­tance from the floats in front, as­sign des­ig­nated walk­ers to hand out candy, avoid walk­ing be­side floats, and travel at walk­ing speed.

Dawn Mack­in­non was this year’s Bad­deck Pa­rade Com­mit­tee Chair. De­spite a well-or­ga­nized and safe pa­rade, she said the Yar­mouth tragedy was still a “wake-up call”. The com­mit­tee will hold a de­brief while the event is still fresh in their minds. Mack­in­non has taken note of in­for­mal feed­back about street salt­ing and light­ing.

Mack­in­non was ner­vous lead­ing up to Bad­deck’s first-ever night­time pa­rade, but got choked up by the end re­sult of a week’s worth of or­ga­niz­ing.

“When I saw all the floats and I could hear the kids, es­pe­cially when they saw Santa, well, that was the great­est.”

A to­tal of 39 floats took part in both county pa­rades this year. In In­go­nish: Cabot Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre, Haw­ley’s Lawn Care, Sco­tia­bank, High­land Manor, In­go­nish Home Hard­ware, John Fraser Memo­rial Com­mit­tee, Buchanan Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal, Groovy Goat Farm & Soap Co., Nova Sco­tia Power, Ski Cape Smokey, Doucette’s Mar­ket & Clay’s Con­fec­tionary, Dono­van’s Rona, RCMP, Vic­to­ria Co-op Fish­eries, Cape Bre­ton High­lands Karate Club, Cabot trail Lion’s Club, In­go­nish Vol­un­teer Fire Dept, Eric’s Back­hoe & Truck­ing, In­go­nish Recre­ational So­ci­ety and In­go­nish Beach Vol­un­teer Fire Dept.

In Bad­deck: 4-H Nova Sco­tia; BABTA; Bap­tist Church; Bad­deck Youth Group; Cape Bre­ton Search and Res­cue; Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources; First Step Phys­io­ther­apy; The Golden Col­lar; The Her­ring Choker Deli; Light­house Loop Re­lay and Bad­deck Ma­rine; Lion's Club; Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of the County of Vic­to­ria; Parks Canada; Tim Hor­tons; Tom's Pizza & Restau­rant; Vic­to­ria County Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal; Wag­mat­cook Sparks and Brown­ies; In­ver­ary Re­sort.

Buchanan Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal float took first prize at the 10th An­nual In­go­nish Pa­rade of Lights. The pa­rade keeps one lane open. Floats stick to one side of the road while the other lane is re­served for emer­gen­cies in case some­thing had to get through. Spec­ta­tors view floats from the side­walk on same side of road as the floats. The 2km pa­rade route starts at the In­go­nish Recre­ational So­ci­ety and fin­ishes at the Keltic Lodge with a tro­phy cer­e­mony and re­fresh­ments.

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