'Party Parades' making a one-night return for Christmas

·2 min read

‘Party Parades’ are making a one-night comeback in the Nicola Valley in order to help Merrittonians celebrate Christmas in a socially distanced, COVID-safe way.

Deb Tancsa, who created the original ‘Merritt Party Parades’ group and organized dozens of parades for those both young and old celebrating their birthdays under COVID restrictions and isolation, has now created a new group: ‘COVID Christmas Party Parade’.

Tancsa was approached by Roger White from the local Q101 radio station who suggested it might be a good idea to revamp the parades for the holiday season.

“Roger White from Q101 got a hold of me with the idea of organizing it, and I ran with it,” said Tancsa.

“I created a Facebook group; I’m figuring out the route and leading the parade. I know a lot were disappointed with the cancellation of Country Christmas and the parade, so we thought this would bring a bit of joy to kids and adults alike.”

The response has already been positive, with the group boasting 87 members just one day after being created.

“People are already getting excited about it and I just posted it (Sunday night),” said Tancsa.

Although the exact route has not yet been set, Tancsa hopes to lead the parade through all of Merritt’s neighbourhoods, and to make a special effort to pass by the senior and long-term care homes, where residents have spent many months in isolation.

“This is a tough time for many and COVID has made it so much worse, a bit of holiday cheer will benefit everyone, whether you are watching or participating in the parade,” said Tancsa.

Although birthday parades were held during the day, the Christmas party parade will be held in the evening to show off the Christmas lights and decorations on the vehicles.

Tancsa reminds people that although the atmosphere will be fun and feel ‘party-like’ it is important that people follow traffic and safety laws while driving, as well as COVID regulations.

“It's going to be important that COVID protocols are followed,” Tancsa explained.

“So, social distancing when we are out of our vehicles, as well as those wanting to watch the parade. Maintain social distancing at the meeting place, encouraging people watching to not congregate in groups and stay in their family cohorts, etc.”

Those who wish to be part of the parade are asked to meet, in their vehicle, at the old Coquihalla Middle School (CMS) on Clapperton Ave. at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 19.

Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald