The Yellowknife Rotary Club recently released their plans for Canada Day celebrations, and the parade will be making its return after a two year absence.
The response to the return of a summer community parade has been exceptionally strong, with some 40 entries already registered and perhaps a dozen more expected to join the parade, which starts at 11am downtown on Friday morning. The parade had to be cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. During Canada Day last year, it was decided that the parade would be called off due to the recent discovery of several graves at residential schools across the country.
Despite past difficulties, the parade is expected to come back in full force this year. Austin Marshall, the Parade Committee Chiar, and a 30 year member of the Yellowknife Rotary Club, expressed his excitement.
“You don’t even have to register. All you have to do is show up. You can just be at the parade assembly area at 10 o’clock on Friday morning, and you will then be part of the parade. That’s all that we need to see, and the more people we see out, the happier we are. We as a Rotary Group will be able to manage it. We’ve put a lot of effort into how we’re going to handle it this year. We’ve put a lot of effort into mking sure we’re organized and ready to go.”
The parade will have a new starting point and be preceded for the first time by a foot race featuring local runners. The Canada Day Mile, organized by the Yellowknife Running Group, will lead off the parade. Another first is having the parade start from in front of City Hall on 49 Avenue/Veterans Drive, proceed down 48 Street and then head southwest along Franklin Avenue to the Community Arena parking lot, where it will disband.
A featured event this year is the return of the Children’s Bicycle Decorating Contest, to be held one hour prior to the start of the parade in the green space between the RCMP and JTFN buildings on 49 Avenue/Veteran’s Memorial Drive. Intended for pre-teens, the YK Club will have adult volunteers on hand to provide balloons, streamers, flags, and other fanciful items.
Officers from the Municipal Enforcement Division (MED) will control traffic at key intersections. MED will have an escort vehicle at the start of the Canada Day Mile race and the RCMP will follow at the end of the Rotary Community Parade, signaling that the event is over. RCMP members on bicycles will also be patrolling along the route. Rotarians and volunteers in high-visibility yellow vests will use barriers to close intersections along the Franklin Avenue parade route starting at 10:30am.