Christmas parade

O’Leary Recreation Director Andrew Avery and Administrative Assistant Faye MacWilliams drop off their Letters to Santa at the O’Leary Town Complex. Little ones looking to do the same thing can to do so during the Christmas in O’Leary event on Nov. 30. The holiday fun begins at 4 pm with O’Leary bringing back their Christmas parade. The parade leaves from the Cavendish Agri Services on North Street and will follow the same route as the Potato Blossom Festival Parade. The special guest for the parade will be the big guy himself - Santa Claus. Melissa Heald photo

It’s been at least over a decade since the Town of O’Leary has hosted a Christmas parade.

Bringing the parade back was the biggest request Andrew Avery heard from residents when he took over the role of the town’s recreation director in April.

“I put out a call what types of things you would like to see in the community, obviously new sports, events and activities, but it was quite a shock in April to be told let’s talk Christmas,” he said. “This was something that was a big ask and something we got on the ball right away.”

The parade will be part of an evening of holiday festivities town is hosting with their Christmas in O’Leary event on Nov. 30.

The holiday fun begins at 4 pm with the parade leaving from Cavendish Agri Services on North Street and following the same route as the Potato Blossom Festival Parade.

The special guest for the parade will be the big guy himself - Santa Claus.

After the parade, there will be the town’s annual tree lighting ceremony with caroling and hot chocolate at the O’Leary Town Complex from 5:30 - 7 pm. The little ones will have an opportunity to drop off their Letters to Santa at this time as well. The evening will be capped off with a free family skate at the O’Leary Community Sports Centre. Mr Avery said a lot of work has gone into bringing the parade back.

“Like any Christmas parade in a small town, it’s obviously not as big as your summer festival, but we will be taking up entries right up to the very last second,” he said.

Any floats involved with the parade are being asked to meet at the Cavendish Agri Services at 3:30 pm.

Mr Avery said he’s very thankful to all those who have already put entries into the Christmas parade.

“Step one was obviously we brought it back and that’s what I’m happy about right now,” he said. “That was my goal was to bring it back. That’s what everyone said they wanted and I’m very happy to make this a reality.”

Mr Avery said his department hopes to make the Christmas parade an annual event.

“It’s whole evening of activities,” he said. “We’re going to see how year one goes and we’re just going to continue to grow.”

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