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Despite the Covid-19 crisis, Hay River will once again have a Canada Day parade on July 1. This year’s parade will consist of vehicles and floats – like this entry from the Canadian Coast Guard in the 2017 parade – and cover more of the community. No one will be walking or marching in the parade.
NNSL file photo

The Canada Day parade is always a big event in Hay River, and it will still take place in this year of Covid-19.

However, it won’t be the usual kind of parade as in previous years. Some changes have been made to ensure the event is safer for participants and spectators.

“For the most part, we’re trying to bring the parade to the people,” said Glenn Smith, the assistant senior administrative officer with the Town of Hay River.

That means the July 1 parade will consist of vehicles and floats going through a larger section of the community than usual. In previous years, it was concentrated downtown.

“It’s a physically-distanced event, so people are encouraged to watch from their house, watch from their front lawn and their driveway, and any location where they can maintain physical distance,” said Smith.

The parade will make its way through various areas of town, including 553.

Smith said the town hopes that will allow many people to see the event.

The Canada Day parade is always very popular in Hay River, he noted, adding it is a bit unfortunate that there won’t be the usual event.

The town will be issuing parade maps so people can see if it will be passing by their homes, or allow them to find a good viewing location.

However, Smith noted the parade won’t be making its way to Old Town.

“The reasoning being that putting floats on the highway is a little more difficult,” he said.

Parade participants must remain in the vehicles or on the floats. They must also maintain six feet of distance while on the floats, and wear facemasks.

There will be no walking or marching by anyone in the procession.

The vehicles and floats are scheduled to gather at 12:15 p.m. on July 1 at Bob McMeekin Chamber Park, and the parade is set to depart at 1 p.m.

Smith noted the parade can be seen on the town’s Facebook channel.

Prior to the parade, there will be a flag-raising ceremony and the singing of O Canada at 11 a.m., also to be on the town’s Facebook channel.

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Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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