The “Citizen” Santa Parade will be returning this year.
After the BIA cancelled last year’s Surrey Santa Parade of Lights, Cloverdale’s Kate Crew was dejected, so she was thinking about organizing her own parade.
That’s when she found out Pauline Jackson, from Always On Time Pilot Cars, was already planning a driving parade of her own. So Crew joined in and the two helped to bring a citizens’ parade to Cloverdale.
The Dec. 23 event was wildly successful and Crew said because of that success, the pair are doing it again.
“It was so much fun last year,” she said. “There was such a good turnout … so many kids were excited and happy to see us. It was heartwarming.”
Last year, about 16 vehicles wound their way through Cloverdale, West Cloverdale, back through the east part of Cloverdale, up through Clayton, into North Cloverdale, and ended at 68 Avenue and 176th Street. After the parade Crew remarked, “It was amazing how many people turned out. People were waiting in chairs. People were waiting in their cars parked on the side of the road. It was huge. It was the most fun I had all year.” She said people watched from windows, stood on balconies, or sat on chairs on the sidewalks. “I cried a couple times when I saw how many people were out cheering us on.”
Jackson was also dejected when she found out the Surrey Santa Parade of Lights was cancelled last year.
“I happened to see over in Maple Ridge that some of my friends did one,” said Jackson, “I thought, ‘Great idea!’ And I talked to my crew over here and they all said, “Yeah, let’s do it.’ Then we advertised it on our Cloverdale family page and it grew to 16 cars from there.”
Jackson said they already have 17 vehicles signed up for this year and she’s hoping to get more.
Always On Time Pilot Car Service will once again come up with the parade route, which Jackson said will be similar to last years’ route with a few changes.
“It’ll be a little bit longer. We missed some streets last year.”
She said the parade will also have three donation vehicles in the Christmas convoy this time around: one for the food bank, one for B.C. Children’s Hospital, and one for Loveabull Rescue Society.
“We’re hoping for non-perishable food items for the food bank, unwrapped toys for B.C. Children’s, and new or used dog items for Loveabull Rescue Society.” Jackson added, “There will also be a special surprise in one of the vehicles this year.”
The parade will start at Elements Casino at 7 p.m. and then drive out on the mapped route. That route will be posted to the event’s Facebook page, Cloverdale “Drive thru” Christmas Parade, soon.
Crew said all vehicles will marshall on the westside of the parking lot and then wind their way through Cloverdale.
She said the donation trucks will drive at the front of the parade and people will be able place things in them. The trucks will only stop on residential streets where it is safe to do so.
“We’ll slow down and move over to the curb, if anyone has something to donate,” explained Jackson.
Crew hopes the parade will be bigger than last year, both in terms of number of vehicles and number of viewers.
“If you want to be in the parade, please contact us through our Facebook page,” she added. “And if you want to watch the parade also please check our Facebook page soon for the parade route.”
Crew is optimistic this year’s event will once again light up the night and light up the hearts of Cloverdalians.
“I’m just hoping for a good turnout and just hoping to bring some joy to people during this time of year,” she said. “I’m hopeful to bring smiles and Christmas cheers to Cloverdale.”
“Whoever wants to join us, join us,” added Jackson. “The more the merrier.”
Visit “Cloverdale ‘Drive thru’ Christmas Parade” for more info.