The first edition of Lloydminster’s Parade of Lights is set to go this evening.
The parade has been organized by local men Ryan Leblanc and Conor Burns. There are 40 vehicles decked out with Christmas lights in the event, which will start at the Exh Grounds, and go south on Highway 17 to 46 Street, before turning north on 49 Avenue to finish at the Exh Grounds. A social will immediately follow the parade, with vendors, live entertainment and pictures with Santa.
Leblanc says he and Burns organized the event for the benefit of Lloydminster’s children.
“We haven’t seen any kind event like this happen in Lloyd [before],” Leblanc said. “It brings the community a little closer together, especially in this bad economic time… I have kids of my own, and I think of the kids [that] this time of year are laid up in the hospital, and that aren’t able to get out and see Christmas lights, or open presents on the morning of Christmas, or spend time with their families. It’s just something that brings everybody a little closer together.”
Burns says he hopes to make the parade an annual event.
“It’s something Lloyd lacks,” Burns said. “We don’t have traditions here. We have got a few, but for a city of our size, we don’t have very many traditions, and I get that people label us as a ‘transient community’, but just because 30% of our community comes and goes doesn’t mean the other 70% should have to suffer. I honestly feel traditions bring a community together. They make communities. You give someone something to stand behind, [and] they feel a sense of pride in their city.”
The organizers will also be collecting cash donations for the Stollery in Edmonton, and non-perishable food for the Salvation Army Food Bank.
The parade starts rolling at 7 p.m, and will last half an hour.