The annual Christmas parade is just around the corner, and organizers hope to see another packed lineup of participants

It’s almost time to line the downtown streets to marvel at Christmas creations from local businesses. Correctly; it is almost parade time !! The Whitecourt and District Chamber of Commerce is looking for another fantastic turnout and hopes that many businesses and organizations will join in the fun.

“In 2019 there was one of the largest voter turnouts ever. It was noticeable how big the crowd was, and I think it was the highest number of floats registered, ”said Dana Severson, General Manager of the Whitecourt Chamber. She said this year was the first time they used the extended parade route through downtown Whitecourt. “I think we had the first car that returned to the starting point when the last car drove out. It was a full parade this year. ”

She said the more companies and groups join the parade, the bigger the crowds seem to get. “The more companies are involved, the more their employees, families and friends want to come and support them and see what they have put together. I think there is a clear correlation between the number of companies that have signed up for the parade and the number of people who see it. ”

Severson said almost anything can be used to create a swimmer, be it large or small. “You can bring humor or nostalgia with you. There is no set theme for the parade other than a somewhat obvious overarching Christmas theme. You can get really creative. Whether you’re showcasing available devices that relate to the services you offer, or getting customers and kids to engage your customer base. It’s a great way to show what employees can do. It’s also a great way for different groups and organizations to show their members’ involvement in the community, how enthusiastic or interesting their groups are. It’s eye-catching and attention-grabbing. ”

She said there is nothing like crowded streets staring at a slowly moving sign all the way to an advertisement for a company or organization. “Your message is not rushing by quickly. It goes at a very slow pace so people take the time to see what’s going on and the louder, brighter, and more interactive it is, it’s amazing how much attention you can get and how memorable it is . “She said the ideas are endless. “We are an industrial city and we are proud of it and we applaud it. Everyone loves to show off their rigs and toys and gear. It is an opportunity for the public to see machines or equipment up close and in sight that you cannot experience when you are not on a construction site or working with them on a daily basis. ”

The parade always features a wide range of float ideas, from pull behinds to in-your-face devices that ride along the route. “We have everything from huge pieces of equipment to people walking in a group with a poster or banner that explains who they are. It can be very simple and yet very effective if you think outside the box and use these skills. ”

Those who join can also hand out goodies and treats, but there are some rules. One rule is not to throw off swimmers. “Everything that is handed out must be placed near the curb so that the participants can easily pick themselves up. There is no actual hand-to-hand transition of things or throwing things. ”Severson said the items would become wrapped because of the snowy floor. “It’s an excellent way to have things with your business info or just hand out an abundance of candy canes and goodies for people to use. There are even companies that hand out bags so that viewers have something for their goodies. There are many options.”

There have been many fan favorites over the years. “There was a dancing gingerbread man from Remax for a year and it was a huge success. It had some nasty features, ”Severson chuckled. “New Venture Safety Services had a working oil derrick on fire and it was cool to see. It was also a reference to the National Lampoon Christmas, which was very well received by all industrial patrons in our region. ”The absolute favorite part of the parade comes at the end, of course, when Santa Claus shows up.

Severson encourages companies to put their thinking caps on and bring their employees together to develop a plan. You have to register for free by November 30th. “A float can be as simple as a pickup truck with a dinghy in the stern, or some lights and music and company signs in one clear and visible place, to a large rig with generators, lights, sounds and characters with several employees on it. In any case, it will be pleasant and effective. Just make sure everyone in the audience knows what business is with which swimmer to get that return on investment for the time and effort. ”

The Whitecourt and District Chamber of Commerce’s “I’m Dreaming of a Whitecourt Christmas” Parade will take place on Saturday, December 4th at 7:00 pm. Visit the Chamber’s Facebook page to access the registration link and ask questions or visit www.whitecourtchamber.com.