Aldergrove, a locale with strong community ties and national pride, continued its long-standing tradition of an annual parade on July 1.
On a rain-stricken Wednesday morning amid the COVID-19 pandemic people took to the streets in socially distant groups.
Amanda Turner, whose family reportedly “goes all out every Canada Day,” drove in from Abbotsford to take in the events.
“We had to hunt down a parade that was still on this year,” Turner explained, unable to find others still-a-go in the Lower Mainland.
Turner’s children, her husband, and the family dog dressed festively in red and white for the event – like many others.
Parade organizer, Aldergrove resident Mike Robinson, was surprised by the turnout.
“People lined the streets the entire six-kilometre route,” he said, which saw about 50 decorated cars travel west from Aldergrove Secondary school on 29 Avenue starting at 9:5 a.m., east along 32 Avenue to Station Road, south to 28 Avenue, west to 272 Street, and then back to the school.
No roads were closed this year, he explained.
Typically, the Aldergrove thoroughfare on Fraser Highway near downtown businesses is cordoned off each year for the procession.
This year’s alternate route, through neighbourhoods, gave paraders the opportunity to “say something to each group they passed,” Robinson explained.
“It was rewarding for us to watch the little kids point their fingers,” at fire trucks or military vehicles they found exciting.
Undoubtedly, a crowd-favourite was a Flintstones stone-car recreation, driven by Aldergrove realtor Clayton Lindberg, who was dressed as the fictional character Fred Flinstone.
Certain parade entries – including people travelling by horseback, on-foot, or in large groups atop truck-driven floats – had to be turned away to prevent COVID-19 spread this year.
“Went to quite a lot of trouble to make sure social distancing was implemented,” added Robinson, noting that each person or group in the parade remained in their vehicle at all times.
This included Aldergrove-Langley MP Tako van Popta, Langley Township and City Mayors Jack Froese and Val van den Broek, and Township Councillor Steve Ferguson.
“The good thing about a parade is that it’s a contagious excitement – you can’t watch it and not feel you are a part of it some way or another,” Robinson related.
Many watching the event did so by looking out of their home’s windows, or opening wide their front doors.