BIA floats idea of drive-through Santa Parade

A Ready-Mix Concrete truck rolls through Cloverdale Dec. 1, 2019 for the 14th annual Surrey Santa Parade of Lights. This year’s parade will not go ahead in its traditional form, but may occur as a drive-through event. (Photo: Olivia Johnson)
A woman crosses 176 Street in a photo circa 1961. Duckworth’s and the Cloverdale Hotel can be seen on the right. Paul Orazietti, executive director for the Cloverdale BIA, said he’s installing decorative lighting, much like the lighting seen in the photo, across 176th Street. (Courtesy of the Surrey Archives / 180.1.85)
Paul Orazietti, executive director for the Cloverdale BIA, is seen on Sept. 17, 2020. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

A parade of cars may replace the procession of floats for this year’s Surrey Santa Parade of Lights.

Paul Orazietti, executive director for the Cloverdale BIA, and chief organizer for the annual event, said the regular parade won’t happen, but added a car-only event may occur in December.

“We cannot encourage people to stand on the side of the road and stand beside each other,” said Orazietti. “We have to answer a couple of questions about a possible drive-through parade, but hopefully within a week or so we’ll be able to formally announce if it will go ahead or not.”

The idea is that a parade of cars would stream through the fairgrounds on a one-way circuit to view all the static floats.

“We started talking to everyone [involved with the parade] and they all said they wanted to do something,” noted Orazietti.

He said the idea for a drive-through parade of lights came on the heels of a car show at the Tradex building in Abbotsford.

SEE ALSO: PHOTOS: Surrey Santa Parade of Lights rolls through Cloverdale

“The vehicles were put inside and people drove through to view the cars,” explained Orazietti. “So I called the guy at the rodeo and he said, ‘yeah, that sounds cool.’ After that, the biggest roadblock then was the City, but I called them and they said, ‘Wow! What a great idea.’”

Orazietti added that they’ve already mapped out the route cars would take on the fairgrounds, looked at how many people they can handle at once, and studied how they would keep traffic flowing smoothly.

“It’s premature to say it will go ahead, because we still have some logistics to work out,” said Orazietti. “But if we do, ultimately, people could drive into the fairgrounds down by the Truck Museum—there’d be people there accepting donations for the same charities we always support, the food bank, the Christmas Bureau, the Cloverdale Kitchen, and the Rodeo Foundation—and they’d be able to wind their way along in their vehicles and enjoy viewing the floats.”

Orazietti said he’s had good feedback already from an informal Facebook survey.

SEE ALSO: Cloverdale BIA reaches out to businesses and workers affected by COVID-19

“We had over 16,000 responses and the bulk have been very positive. Some have suggested a two-day event. So we are looking at few different scenarios.”


In other BIA news, Orazietti said he’s one step away from installing new lighting on 176th Street.

“We’re waiting on one last technical report from the manufacturer.”

The retro, tungsten-style lights would be strung across the street at numerous points from lamppost to lamppost—much like Cloverdale had in the 1960s (see Surrey Archives picture)—on 176th Street between Highway 10 and 58A Avenue. He said lights will also go up in Hawthorne Square.

According to Orazietti, the BIA is covering the cost for the lights, but he’s hoping the City can donate the power.

SEE ALSO: ‘Supernatural’ brings the 1950s to Cloverdale

“Over a five-year time period, these lights have 100,000 hours of life.”

He said the automatic-sensor lights will come on in the early evening and shut off sometime after 11 p.m.

“It’s decorative lighting. We want to make the area brighter,” Orazietti explained. “The idea is that we create a light canopy.”

Orazietti said he doesn’t have a timeline for when the lights will be installed, but he thinks they’ll be put in sometime in the next month or so.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

ParadeSanta Claus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives photo)
LETTER: Think of seniors when casting vote

With the provincial election on Saturday, a local seniors group reminds voters to think about elders

A request for a tax exemption by the Langley Food Bank has prompted a review of the way such requests are handled by Langley City (Langley Advance Times file)
Langley City reviews tax breaks after turning request by food bank

Was one of four groups asking to be added to the tax exemption list

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
COVID case confirmed at Fort Langley Seniors Community

One of five new cases reported by Fraser health Authority

Langley’s Ken Cormack (L) and Craig Brown won the B.C. Match Play Net Championship on Sunday, Oct. 18 in Richmond (Courtesy Ken Cormack)
Two ‘dads’ from Langley win B.C. Match Play Net Championship of golf

‘We were just doing it to have fun and have a laugh’

John Horgan brought the NDP campaign to Langley on Wednesday, Oct. 21, just three days before the B.C. vote (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Horgan brings NDP campaign to Langley

Predicts gains, says people are looking at the party ‘differently’ after three years

Mary Foote (right) took part in the Gutsy Walk in August 2020 at the age of 104. She was joined by son in-law Clarence and daughter Edith Olson. (family photo)
Langley woman turns 105 on Oct. 25

In August, Mary Foote took part in the Gutsy Walk to battle Crohn’s and Colitis

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

In this file photo, snow is seen falling along the Coquihalla Highway. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches

The early season snowfall expected to hit Fraser Valley, Friday, Oct. 23

Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Most Read