Aldergrove’s carried on a tradition of parading downtown on Fraser Highway each summer for nearly four decades.
Red and white flags are donned by hundreds in a display of Canadian pride, for arguably the longest standing tradition in town.
This year will be no different, according to the Township of Langley, which said it expects the organizing fair committee to expand the parade route to adhere to provincial health regulations amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“They have reformatted and greatly expanded their parade route ensuring it can be seen by as many community residents as possible, without the need for crowds to congregate in zones that would contravene current provincial regulations,” a Township spokesperson told the Star.
“It is anticipated that the group will meet all criteria and will therefore qualify for some support… to carry out their proposed event.”
In face of the pandemic, which has cancelled the majority of Canada Day festivities in the Township and forced the municipality to go virtual July 1, fair committee volunteers have persevered.
This year’s Canada Day parade route in Aldergrove will begin at Aldergrove Community Secondary School and travel west along 29 Avenue, east along 32 Avenue to Station Road, then south to 28 Avenue, west to 272 Street, and back to 29 Avenue.
The procession, to be led by a Township of Langley fire engine, will start at 9:45 a.m. on July 1.
“Think of it as the parade coming to you, instead of you needing to get to the parade,” explained executive director Karen Long.
Spectators are being asked to stand in a vacant spot along the more than 40,000-ft. of sidewalk along the route, and are encouraged to wear face masks.
Following the procession, the Aldergrove legion (at 26607 Fraser Hwy.) will serve a free barbecue lunch for its members and guests of the community.
“Our patio will be open at the back of the branch for hot dogs and hamburgers,” president Doug Hadley elaborated.
Those serving food will take necessary safety precautions, he said, including wearing masks and gloves. Legion volunteers will ensure social distancing is practised.
Also planned for Wednesday, July 1, in coordination with the parade, is the temporary reopening of the Aldergrove Telephone Museum, located at 3190 271 St.
Socially distant tours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – with guests required to wear masks and gloves – will see family and social groups move one way through museum exhibits.
Heritage Society president Tami Quiring said that entry, as well as access to the society’s limited supply of disposable masks and gloves, will be by donation.
As well, free mini cupcakes donated by Save-On-Foods will be handed to visitors by society volunteers.