The newly formed Tillsonburg Optimist club just organized their first Tillsonburg Christmas parade and "what a ride" it has been!
Behind every event there are always many "back stories"and this event was no exception.
Everywhere we turned there were generous and warm hearted individuals, service clubs, businesses and professional groups there to help us out with kindness and good humour.
We would like to make special mention and our heartfelt thanks to some of these people now:
The Town of Tillsonburg and especially Mayor Stephen Molnar, Deputy Mayor Dave Beres and Development Commissioner Cephas Panschow.
The Tillsonburg Works Department.
The Oxford County OPP under the leadership of Cst. Stacey Culbert. (We threw them a few "left curves" which they handled with expertise and professionalism.
The Tillsonburg Fire Department (who had to race from an earlier commitment in order to take part in the parade).
The BIA and especially Virginia Armstrong. The Tillsonburg Town Centre.
The Knights of Columbus (Councillor and club member Brian Stephenson, who said "What do you need... how can we help?). The Tillsonburg Lions Club (when we hit a snag with the hot chocolate and donuts they quite literally "stepped up to the plate"). The Kiwanis Club and especially past members Ron Bates, Mike Coombs, Norm Smith and Denis Hallett.
The six bands, Stauffer Motors, Pearce Motors and Eichenberg Motors.
Milt Chesterman, Bill Ash, Gerald Leighfield, Norm Smith and all the other drivers and a special thanks to Byrnes Roofing who arranged for two rides including Santa and his good wife.
Oxford MP Dave MacKenzie, Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman.
Rogers TV, Chris Abbott Tillsonburg News, the Tillsonburg Hurricanes hockey team (who helped with crowd control by The Town Centre mall before jumping on their own float) and a special thanks to Siemens Canada who started plans to be in this parade last June. Optimist International and our sponsor club, Optimist Club Kitchener West.
To every single parade participant. Your floats were great and you all looked terrific.
A "pop up parade" can be a real "nail biter"... will anyone show up? Well yes, you did and we thank you.
To all of you who prayed for the rain to stop by 12 noon... well done.
Will we do it again? Watch this space... Nov. 18, 2017.