When there’s a will there’s a way.
As the dust settles from November’s Santa Claus parade controversy, a problem from last year that nearly saw the end of another community tradition has also been resolved.
“Last year we had a float that used to go around most of the streets of the community after our Christmas parade — the firefighters would get together and go to almost every street in the community and Santa would be on the float,” said Glace Bay Volunteer Fire Department Chief John Chant. “We were doing that up to last year and last year a stop was put to it because it was considered to be a float and that would have to abide by the rules of having spotters next to it and at 25 to 30 km per hour, you can’t get spotters to stand next to it, so it became a safety factor where we had to stop doing it.
“That was a tradition I remember from going around when I was four years old … with Santa on the back of the fire truck and then we switched to a float about 12 to 13 years ago to make it safer. But this was another thing that we lost in our community.”
And losing things that bring a smile to children’s faces isn’t something that Chant and members of the Glace Bay Volunteer Fire Department are comfortable with so they came up with a solution.
“We’re moving forward,” said Chant. “We are going to take this float we have and go around to the different areas of the community in a stationary fashion. We’ll be in a parking lot somewhere and then we’ll announce it on social media where we’re going to be and then people can come and get pictures with Santa and we’ll stay there for a few hours and then we’ll move on to another spot in town.
“We’re hoping that we can get to different businesses in town and set up in their parking lots as a thank you for everything that they have done for us over the years and also to these other areas in the community where the parade doesn’t go near so we can get people out and they can say hello to us.”
Keeping the float stationary eliminates the danger of a moving vehicle but it also allows the department to maintain an annual tradition that resonates with the community.
This year’s dates and locations will be announced on social media and are expected to occur in mid-December.