By Sean Delaney
What happened to the Good Old Days? Over the decades, there seems to be a continuing decline in the number and participation in local holiday events. Local events, where neighbours share good cheer together, watching their children delight with an old-fashioned Christmas parade. Good news, and likely with the North Pole’s jolly persuasion, on Dec. 11, Humberlea hosted the second annual Christmas parade. It was a traditional hometown/homemade parade in the heart of Emery, and people said it helped lift their spirits.
Yes, community cheerleaders Brigette Contento and Michael Verrilli were at it again.
“There was so much excitement, the children marching, the dancing lights, the many children that attended,” said Contento. “There was Santa and his beautiful snow princess Elsa on the float. And let’s not forget the grinch, teddy bears and gingerbread man, and the clowns. But what was most important to the two of us, what we saw, were the smiles. There was laughter and the magic gleaming in everyone’s eyes, that was the magic for us, and that’s all we wanted to achieve.”
Fellow organizer Mike Verrelli agreed.
“The spirit of Christmas is togetherness and this night brought not only our own community together but many from our neighbouring communities. It was a most magical night. There is immense power when a group of people with the same interests gets together to work towards the same goal….our goal and this communities’ goal was to create unity, happiness, and magic, which we absolutely did.”
The parade ended at Strathburn Park with carolers in full chorus and of course, Santa watching on.
“We are so proud and thankful for everyone’s participation in our second annual Santa Parade. And we want to send a huge thank you to Santa Nick, you made this night possible. You are genuinely the best Santa ever,” Contento said.
The holidays are now upon us.
For myself, I look forward to reunions with loved ones, traditional home-cooked meals, and perhaps even a visit from Santa.
The holidays are also a time when we should remind ourselves of the importance of charity. The BIA, in partnership with many other area businesses, was blessed to be able to fill trucks with food and toys for local community members.
I encourage you to reach out a helping hand, in whatever way you can.
Another way to support our community is to make a pledge to shop locally. This pandemic has been hard on our businesses. Many of these owners are struggling. For the most part, they are not part of multinational corporations that have deep pockets. These are indeed trying and challenging times for many.
From my family to yours, I wish you a holiday season filled with hope and joy. May the spirit of the season brighten your days and let you smile and take stock of the things we are blessed with, however small.
Please stay well.