WESTVILLE – Westville firefighters are making their list and checking it twice to make sure the annual Parade of Lights goes off without a hitch Saturday night.
Now in its 12th year, the event is something the firefighters look forward to every year, said deputy fire chief Tom Steele.
“The guys enjoy this so much – seeing the excitement of the kids is the best part,” Steele said. “Yes, July 1 is important, but with the build-up to Christmas, everyone is so excited. The holiday season is all about family, and this is a chance for families to get away from the hustle and bustle, sit back and relax for an hour, and get out in the fresh air as a family.”
There is still time for people to enter floats in the parade. They must fill out an application, which they can pick up at the Westville town hall. Entries are encouraged to use lights, but the fire department urges people to be safe and ensure generators are in working order and carry a fire extinguisher on board.
Santa has confirmed his appearance at the parade, bound to be the highlight of the night for many children.
“The Westville Fire Department does have Santa coming, so we’re requesting other floats don’t ask him to come on board,” he said. “Elves, mechanical Santas, whatever else can go on the floats, but we’ve got the real Santa coming.”
Right now, the weather forecast looks good for the weekend, he added, and the fire department is hoping to see large crowds lining the parade route, which is the same as for the annual Canada Day Parade.
County residents are reminded that parking is banned along the parade route and are encouraged to arrive before the 7 p.m. start time as the streets will be closed while the parade is going through.
If the weather turns bad, however, the parade will go on.
“Even if it’s just two fire trucks and Santa, we’ll go on,” said fire chief Kenny Dunn.
An inclement weather date has been set for the fireworks, however. Last year, it was too windy to set them off and the fire department ended up using them as part of the July 1 celebration.
“We want to avoid that, so if the weather turns bad, we’ll have them on Sunday night at 8 p.m.,” Steele said.
Here’s the schedule for the Westville Parade of Lights:
• 6:30 p.m. – Christmas tree lighting and Nova Scotia Power LED light exchange beside the post office; parade begins lining up at the Legion hall.
• 7 p.m. – Parade leaves Legion and proceeds down Main Street to the fire station, where hot chocolate will be served.
• 8 p.m. – Fireworks in Victoria Park (in case of inclement weather, the fireworks will be held on Sunday at 8 p.m.).