Red and white flags decorated the downtown early Monday morning in a display of Canadian pride, for what is arguably the longest standing community tradition in Aldergrove.
The only parade in all of Langley Township – one that lined the main drag of town as early as 9:45 a.m. brought out floats of all kinds for families to view while stationed on Fraser Highway between 268 and 276 Streets.
It began with Township Councillor Bob Long, emcee of the event, belting a joyous O Canada with the help of what he called “the Canadian choir” made up of eager parents and children.
The spirited parade began with the Royal Canadian Legion’s Aldergrove veteran volunteers marching, followed by five military vehicles, including two massive tanks or armoured personnel carrier (APC).
From one of the tanks, locals saw a waving veteran pop out from a turret – which once boasted serious artillery in Afghanistan, said veteran and vehicle service operator Glen Braid.
International Movie Services has a warehouse in Aldergrove, and supplies the parade, legion events, and yearly fair with vehicles of all kinds for educational purposes.
Young navy cadets, ages 9 to 12, followed in the procession from the Central Fraser Valley branch.
Other local organizations and businesses that constructed floats for the parade included Cedar Rim Nursery, Acorn Bumble Bee Junior Kindergarten, Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association, Aldergrove Youth Soccer Club and the Sea Monkeys Swim Club.
Several of the groups handed out favours including festive stick-on tattoos, flags, candy, and water bottles. The Elks were among them, distributing cartoon-themed coin purses to awaiting children.
Elks president Guy Whitford drove a Mack sleeper truck donning the sign “Elks for Kids” on its side.
At one point in the parade Whitford jumped out of the truck to present a forlorn-looking young girl with a Mack hat.
Her face instantly brightened, he said.
“That’s why we do what we do,” Whitford told the Aldergrove Star, elaborating further about their non-profit’s mission to assist local families of children in need.
The B.C. Farm Museum had two tractors in the parade, older restored models that can also be found at their main location in Fort Langley, as well as on display during the upcoming fair on July 19 to 21.
Other vintage vehicles were flaunted along the strip by Langley Area Mostly British Motoring Club members.
Fair president Robin McIntosh, who also helped organize the event, said the parade was an outstanding display of community support and Canadian pride.
“Though we were so close to having the parade move to other parts of Langley this year” – including Willoughby and Fort Langley – the president was still pleasantly surprised with Monday’s large turnout.
“It’s great to see more interest,” McIntosh expressed, remarking that his favourite float was “the spectacular rocket float” towards the end of the parade – which teased locals as to what is to come for upcoming moon landing-themed fair.