Organizers of the Santa Claus parade in Nanaimo are optimistic that an earlier start to their planning will avoid the type of complications that led to a cancellation of last year's event.
The Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association and Nanaimo Lions Club issued a call for parade participants this week. Last year's parade was cancelled mid-way through November when only a handful of entries had been received for floats. This year's event will take place later in the season, as well later in the day. The DNBIA and Lions have scheduled the parade for 5 p.m. on Nov. 30.
"We have more floats right now than we did last year for the parade," said Robyn Tonack of the DNBIA. "It's normally about 30. We're actually hoping to get more than double what we normally have.
"We want to re-instill Nanaimo's pride in the parade and just really make it something that family's will look forward to every year," she said. It is hoped that the later start time will make the event more accessible to families, while also allowing for the use of colourful lighting on the parade floats.
Monday's call for participants was made in hopes that businesses, community organizations and enterprising individuals will sign up to join the parade. All manner of submissions are welcomed so long as decorations are involved.
"Decorate your car or your truck or hay wagon - you don't even have to bring a vehicle, you can dress up in a monkey suit," Tonack said. "Any group that wants to have a little bit of exposure, this is your time to shine in the light."
Lions Club parade chairman Eric Anderson said the groups are hoping to move on after last year's debacle.
"I think it's very important. Lots of kids in the community, and parents too, enjoy this. People were kind of upset last year when it was cancelled."
The deadline for entries is Nov. 20. A parade rules form can be downloaded at www.dnbia.ca.
© Copyright 2013