Back by popular demand, the 2017 Cochrane Santa Claus Parade is lighting up the town this Saturday night but is still suffering from a volunteer shortage.
Mick Gee is one of the organizers of the annual event – which kicked off December 2014 but did not run last year – and is hopeful enough volunteers will climb aboard to ensure the parade is pulled off without a hitch.
“The easiest part is organizing the event and the hardest part is getting volunteers to help,” said Gee, noting that it seems to be the same core group of volunteers who lend their efforts to community events around town.
The ask is small – another 25 bodies to man road closure barricades for less than two hours, as the parade runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 9.
The event has only secured 15 of the needed 40 volunteers to date.
“We’ve got to make sure we run a safe event,” explained Gee, who is part of a group of volunteers on a mission to “create memories that will last a lifetime.”
The parade now includes 18 floats, including the biggest float yet – a 60-foot-long, brightly lit barge with two train carriages; there are no entry fees for floats.
Gee said this year organizers are engaging the public to choose their favourite float by voting in the society’s online Facebook poll.
The parade starts and finishes at the form-up area along Railway Street and Fifth Avenue, heading east on Railway, south on Centre Avenue, west on Quarry Street, north on Grande Avenue and west on Railway.
Following the parade, Santa Claus will be making community visits throughout town – divided into five areas – from Dec. 11 to 15, which includes home delivery to two secret Santa recipients in each community.
Visit cochranesantaclaus.ca for volunteer sign-up or to view the Santa schedule for community visits.