November 30th, 2018

Temperatures now are quite brisk about -5 to -12 degrees and the lakes are all freezing or frozen, but the arrival of snow (except for light dustings) is later than usual I’m told. Apparently last year at this time there was about 2 1/2 feet on the ground by now! Brrrr! I can definitely wait to shovel all the upcoming snowfalls!

Tonight is the annual Santa parade and Tree Lighting ceremony in Burns Lake! I dawned my gloves, toque, scarf, down jacket, and snow boots then walked downtown along the icy and slippery sidewalks heading toward the back road. I heard the parade started about 6:00 p.m. along the back road where the library, fire hall, floral shop, post office, gas stations, electric car charging station, etc. are located. Hmmm… I didn’t see anybody lining up or waiting? I did however see cars parked along the road. Then about 5 minutes before the sirens started…families gathered and people emerged from the parked cars! Guess they know the routine! I was standing across from the Fire Hall in the first section of the parade route. It was fabulous and so worth attending! The only thing missing was the usual snow!

It started with the usual police cars and emergency vehicles, sirens wailing! They were followed by Christmas floats from most of the larger businesses in town. Candy was flying! Several Santas made appearances 🙂 One of my favorite floats was a nativity scene followed by 3 shepherds riding horses with camel humps! A man ran beside them scooping up all the stinky excrement! 🙂 Everybody seemed so excited and as I followed the parade I learned that most of Burns Lake seemed to be out in force and were mainly located at the end section of the parade by the train tracks and where the logging trucks all park at night. I also observed that several Orthodox Mennonite families, who were quite surrounded by the thrown candy,  didn’t pick any candy up.

After the parade ended, some families departed…but most of us crossed over the highway to participate in singing carols, drinking free hot chocolate, then watching as the fantasy of lights were switched on. During the parade and carol singing event I was very touched by the number of students (from both schools) who came over to me to say hello, give me a hug, and introduce me to their parents! This is one very friendly community!