Town of Gore Bay supports the Santa Claus parade to go ahead December 5

The Chaytor family float, “Snow People,” took third place in the 2019 Gore Bay Santa Claus parade.

New Year’s fireworks display will also take place

GORE BAY – The Town of Gore Bay council has given its support for a Christmas parade to be held in town, as well as a fireworks display to ring in the new year.

“This will be good for people’s spirits,” stated Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne at a council meeting Monday.

This comes after council had reviewed a recommendation from its recreation committee which had discussed options for having a Santa Claus parade that would meet public health guidelines. Ideas included having a parade but viewers either remain in their car or on their own property to view or having Santa at the community hall for a socially distanced photo opportunity.  The committee recommendation was that Gore Bay advertise to have a stay-in-your-car Santa Claus parade on December 5.

“We talked about all of this and feel that the majority of people will be watching the parade in their vehicle,” said Councillor Leeanne Woestenenk. 

Councillor Kevin Woestenenk pointed out health unit protocols allow for gatherings of 50 people outside. “Most people will sit in their car as the parade goes by, as they usually do.” But he felt that parade viewers should be requested by the town to social distance while viewing the parade. “I think we should advertise in the paper for people to social distance, respect their fellow residents, and for those on floats to stay on their floats.” 

“I agree there is an opportunity for people to social distance on the main street (and along the parade route), and we shouldn’t give up the Santa Claus parade,” said Councillor Jack Clark. 

“I would say in the newspaper advertisement that people need to social distance,” said Councillor Woestenenk, who wanted the recreation committee motion amended to note the town proceed with the Santa Claus Parade and ask everyone to social distance, either by spreading out on the parade route through town or by watching the parade from their front yard, if possible.

Council agreed that the Gore Bay Santa Claus parade will take place on December 5, and that everyone will be asked to physically distance. 

A second recommendation had been made by the recreation committee that a fireworks display be held on New Year’s to recognize and celebrate Canada Day.

Councillor Leeanne Woestenenk pointed out the town had received funding for this past July 1’s Canada Day celebrations (which were cancelled due to the pandemic), and fireworks were purchased for a fireworks display. “If we don’t use the funding by March we will lose these funds.”

Council passed a motion that a fireworks display be held on New Year’s to recognize the two holidays. Further, the event will be an in-car socially distanced event.