11:30 a.m., Nov. 25)
brave high winds, cold temperature to take in Parade of
waves to some of the thousands of people who
lined St. Joseph Blvd. Saturday night to take
in the 2012 Parade of Lights. Fired Sherwin/Photo
the weather outside was frightful, but the Parade of Lights
was so delightful, let it blow, let it blow, let it blow.
And blow it did, as the wind chill factor during last
night's parade dipped below -10 degrees.
cold did nothing to dampen the holiday spirit of the 100,000-plus
people who lined the St. Joseph Blvd. parade route. In
fact, a light dusting of snow added to the festive mood.
parade itself featured 75 entries and more than 2,000
participants including two marching bands, five Frosties,
three Grinches, six fire trucks, the Ghostbusters, a group
of miniature dogs, and one Elvis.
the many floats was a good mix of entries from area schools,
sports groups, churches, service clubs and local businesses.
year's winner of the Jim Anderson Memorial Awaed and Grand
Champions was the entry from Cairine Wilson Secondary
School, built around the theme of "The Isle of the
the first time that a high school entry has won the top
prize, which is all the more remarkable when you consider
that the project was entirely student led owing to the
work-to-rule campaign being caried out by the province's
public board secondary school teachers.
a real good news story," says Parade co-organizer
Bob Rainboth. "For them to pull off Grand Champion
without any help from the teachers is pretty amazing."
this year's honouary parade marshall was Cairine grad
and CJOH newscaster Kimothy Walher.
the man everyone wanted to see was St. Nick and the jolly
old elf didn't disappoint. He was resplendent in his red
suit and white beard as he waved to the crowd from atop
his red sleigh.
to a microphone and sound systen, the crowd could hear
Santa before they could actually see him. But as soon
as the youngsters caught sight of him, their eyes immediately
lit up and their smiles outshone the thousands of lights
that adorned the brightly lit floats.
Hill resident Lisa Parent brought her two children, Brianna.
9, and Vincent, 7, to the parade for the first time. She
only moved to the area from New Brunswick last summer.
didn't have anything like this in Gagetown," said
Parent who is originally from Ottawa. "I remember
going to the Santa Claus parade downtown when I was a
kid. So when I saw the poster for the Parade of Lights
I just had to bring the kids."
Brianna loved all the lights and the animals, Vincent
had a clear bias toward one float in particular.
yelled the seven-year-old when asked which float was his
favourite, "Because he brings me toys."
large turnout will go a long way to help local firefighters
make this years
holiday season a little brighter for underprivileged children
in the community.
the floats went by, firefighters collected toys and passed
along boots as parade-goers filled them with loonies,
toonies and the odd $5 and $10 bill.
organizers will be delivering the toys to the Eastern
Ottawa Community Resource Centre next week, while the
money will be put into the Fire Fighters Help Santa
Toy Fund and used to buy more toys.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
to Front Page