Metcalfe Parade Celebrates 15 years in 2011
Santa Claus is coming to Metcalfe this weekend as the Metcalfe Community Association hosts its 15th annual Christmas parade on Sunday, Dec. 11. The 2 p.m. parade will start at Johannes and Victoria Streets, turning right onto Victoria and heading towards the community centre. From there, residents are invited to enjoy holiday treats, hot chocolate and mushroom soup donated on behalf of Continental Mushroom and prepared by AJ's Catering before getting a free photo with Santa. For $2, kids can also decorate gingerbread cookies. "I bring tons of candy," laughed organizer Laurie Anne Holmes. Floats collect items for the local food bank along the route. Holmes said the parade is the association's biggest event, and is met with annual enthusiasm from the community. Last year's parade was on the brink of being cancelled due to pouring freezing rain, but just as Holmes was about to use the community police officer's loud speaker to call residents to the community centre, she said children started lining the streets waiting for the floats. "There's good spirit here," she said. However volunteering spirit has been low for the past few years and Holmes said it is increasingly difficult to find helpers for the parade and other association events. Having run the parade for 10 years already, Holmes said she would like to pass it on but there's no one to pick up the slack. "It's hard with limited membership," she said, noting that the association only has five members right now. "It's a sleeper town in some ways, people are closer to the city and they're busy. We need to get more proactive." The parade usually features between 25 and 30 floats from local businesses, Girl Guides and Scouts, churches, schools, dance troupes and hockey teams. "We joke that all the kids are in the parade and no one's left to watch it," she laughed.