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Britannia Fire Dept. challenges area emergency services in new category for Parade of Lights

The Britannia Fire Department is throwing out a challenge to other emergency services in the area on who can have the best float in the Parade of Lights.

Deputy Chief Aaron Buckingham says the past two years, the younger and older fire department members have competed with each other on creating the best float for the parade. Now they’re joining forces to compete against other local emergency services.

“We talked to Ryan (Leblanc), the organizer, and said if we issue the challenge to all the other emergency services would you give us a judging category just for emergency services?” 

Leblanc has added the category to the judge’s table and says he’s excited to see what the other services will come up with. The Parade of Lights is still looking for more entries and sponsors. Currently, there are about 20 registered and Leblanc is hoping to exceed last years total entries of 60. 

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Leblanc says there are a few more changes coming to this year’s parade.

“This year we’re changing it up a little bit, it will be a take your own picture with Santa Claus this year. It’ll be by donation you can take your own picture with Santa and one of the elves will do that for you.”

The route of the parade is also getting some slight tweaking. It will start at 56 Street and Highway 17 and then follow the same route as last year. The parade will start at 7 p.m. on December 19 and the highway will be shut down 15 minutes before it starts. 

Leblanc asks drivers not to park on the parade route.

“It’s just for ease of people to be able to watch it and we like to see people out on the sidewalks bundled up and out for the evening.”

Buckingham hopes everyone comes out to the parade and enjoys it.

“It’s all about getting as many people involved with the Parade of Lights as we can,” Buckingham says. “I drove a fire truck in the parade every year since it started and to watch the kids on the side of the street, the smiles, laughs and cheers; it’s an amazing thing leading into the Christmas season.”

Proceeds from the parade will go towards the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation. Donations can be made at the Exhibition Grounds after the parade. Last year, the event raised $26,000.

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