Parade marshal Mike Robinson’s day started at five in the morning. Leading the Aldergrove Canada Day Parade, he and his team made arrangements well in advance – putting up safety signs, cones, direction signs, and most importantly, carrying around the parade mascot, Aldy – a farm boy dressed in red.
“There were 101 things to finish,” he joked.
By 7:30 a.m., Robinson, his wife Susan, and other board members were almost done with decorations, and next up was getting the Canadian flags and parade banners from Robinson’s home to the marshalling area – near Old Yale Road in Aldergrove.
The parade was scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m., but one more task had to be done. The road closure signs had to be placed, and it was essential to get to the designated spots before anyone else.
“Because otherwise people would have parked there.”
From managing traffic to putting up the sign boards, Robinson said each and every task was important and had to be done on time.
“About 150 pieces to precise,” had to be transported – from signs and banners to cones.
“And, all this just for a parade that is half a mile long. You can imagine… there could have been a chaos.”
At last, the clock hit 9:30, and there were vehicles of sorts, including fire trucks joining in the parade.
Passing along Fraser Highway and through downtown Aldergrove, the parade attracted about 5,000 people, many enjoying from street corners wearing red and waving the Canadian flag high up in the air.
About 50 different vehicles took part in the 20-year-old tradition. Earlier hosted on a different date, the parade was included as part of the Canada Day celebrations about eight years ago.
The Canadian flag, red colour, and Canadian pride kept the New Zealand-born Canadian going throughout the day. Everything went smoothly, and watching people smiling and getting entertained made Robinson happy.
He has been living in Canada for 25 years, and Aldergrove Fair Association was one of the first organizations he joined after coming to Canada.
“It [the] association made me feel part of Canada.”
At about 10 a.m., the parade reached the finishing point near Old Yale Road in Aldergrove. While everyone headed home, it was time for Robinson and his team to pack the decorations, load and unload cars, and head for a heavy breakfast in a nearby restaurant.
Just in the neighbourhood and not far from the parade’s finishing point was Aldergrove Atheltic Park, where the Township of Langley hosted their Canada Day event.
About 15,000 people attended the celebration, which featured dance performances, live music concerts, martial arts shows, a kids zone, a vendor market, food trucks and much more. Held annually in Langley, this was the first time the Township had hosted the Canada Day event in Aldergrove Athletic Park.
“We have a fabulous line up of entertainment here,” said Peter Tulumello, director of arts and culture initiatives at the Township of Langley.
Coming from Willowbrook, Summer attended the event with her husband and kid. “It is a super fun event and we are enjoying our Canada Day,” she said. The event started at 11 a.m. today and is scheduled till 6 p.m.
To read about other Canada Day events in City and Township, visit langleyadvancetimes.com
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