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                                                                                            Ste Anne's Christmas Parade 2000

Mingo-McEwen Fund organizer, Bob McEwen, is a busy man.  In addition to a full time job, organizing the fund, and an active family life, he is also a councillor for Ste. Anne de Bellevue.  One of his creative brainstorms was to initiate a Santa Claus parade for the town. The first parade in 1999 was a tremendous success.  Held in the early evening, floats were lit up with hundreds of Christmas lights and the turnout of spectators was better than anticipated.

For the December 2000 parade, Bob had another brainstorm; a float could represent the Mingo-McEwen Fund!  A committee of completely inexperienced float designers was found?  The theme of an "old fashioned Christmas" came to mind when my sister-in-law sent some capes and bonnets from London, Ontario that she had used in a parade.  Top hats for the men and Santa hats for the younger children were found.  Valerie Simpson, my friend's daughter, designed the backdrop, a beautiful tree was found,

Sharon Thompson donated lights for the tree, and Nathalie Willox wrapped "presents".  All in all, it came together fairly well.

The big day came and it was cold!  Dean Edwards arrived with his truck decorated with lights, bells and a wreath to pull the float.  Brent joined Dean in the truck because his feet were so cold!  The younger kids were bouncing around and waving at the 11,000 plus people lining the streets. Jordan, Meagan, and her brother, Brandon, were naturals!  Brent's sister, Brittany and their cousin Kelsey shivered and smiled, Thomas Willox huddled under a blanket, as did Ariah Leroux while her dad, Andy, and her sister, Savannah waved to their friends and neighbours.  Jordan's mom, Lori, and Meagan's mom, Sandra, and Kristina Straughton kept warm for a while with hot apple cider from the Quinn's Farm float.  There was no trouble for those of us who were walking beside the float making sure no young spectators came too close to the wheels. 

Near the end of the parade route, we were running after the float when it sped up.  Quite a spectacle especially in our capes and bonnets! 

Despite the cold and all of the work, it was worthwhile to see the smiles of Brent, Jordan, and Meagan and to know that this made them feel special and will be a wonderful memory for them.

Many thanks go to everyone who participated in this experience Brent and Brittany Mingo, Jordan and I, the Harney family (Meagan, Brandon, Sandra and Gordon), Dean Edwards, Linda and Jim Hale, the Leroux family (Andy, Ariah, and Savannah), Bob and Marg McEwen, the Simpson family (Ellen, Rick, Sandy, and Valerie), Jim and Kristina Straughton, Sharon Thompson, and the Willox family (Nathalie, Mathew, Geoffrey, and Thomas).

Submitted by Shirley Straughton