As Canada Day long weekend has passed into another week of summer, Sam Morros, the Chairperson of the Airdrie Parades Committee, said that the attendance of this year's Canada Day Parade was both surprising and heart-warming. She estimates that 25,000 people came to see the parade.
"We thought that attendance will be down a bit with it being the long weekend. But no, we had some feedback saying that it was the busiest they'd ever seen, so that was super exciting for us," she said.
There were 65 floats that were registered in the parade, with well over 100 individual vehicles.
"It actually was a beautiful thing. We were aiming for benchmarks that we hit [in the] pre-pandemic. However, I think it really worked out in our favour because it was hot out; the weather smiled on us. So it was nice not to have people out in the sun for too long for a full parade. We feel that it's a great number to take going forward and onto other parades," she said. "That being said, the ones that showed up, came to show off. There were some incredible decorations and a ton of great enthusiasm. The folks that did enter came to play, which was super cool."
According to Morros, with some funding coming from Canada Heritage, it looks like Airdrie Parades will break even when it comes to the bottom line this year. She also announced the winners of the parade float contest. HairBenders Salon came in first place for their whimsical float, while The Wildies came in second. Third place went to the Airdrie BMX Association. Morros, however, said as far as choosing a personal favourite, it's an almost impossible decision.
"Shriners really brought some cool stuff this year; those dinosaurs! [Another] favourite for me is always those little airplanes that they have!" she said. "Then another one was that we had a drifting racing team with some super cool vehicles."
Even though Canada Day is over, Morros and the Airdrie Parades Committee do not have much time to rest on their laurels. They will take some time off in the summer before the fall. Once September rolls around, they will be planning for the Santa Claus Parade.
"This year's parade is definitely going forward. I mean if the pandemic has shown us anything it is that absolutely anything can happen, but right this second and over my dead body: it will be a go!"
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