Bonfield is getting a reputation for spooky Halloweens, and that’s just fine with Renee Contant. Entering its third year, the Bonfield Halloween Parade is becoming an annual tradition, and once again Contant is getting plans in motion to make this year’s parade the spookiest yet.
Contant founded the parade because Covid had shut down Halloween for most of the little ghouls and goblins. Trick or treating was not advised, so she decided to create a parade that would bring the candy and the Halloween chills to the kids.
“I just really like Halloween myself,” Contant said, “so I wanted to make sure there was something in Bonfield” during those pandemic times. And now, after two years, she is keen to carry on the parade as it seems to be a new Halloween favourite.
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“Everyone loved it,” she said, and “it’s a lot bigger than I ever expected it to be.” Last year about 20 floats took part, and many Bonfield businesses donated candy—or money for candy—to give out to the kids along the parade route, which runs down Gagnon Street to Levesque and Railway Streets.
The route may change this year—“it runs a little long”—at about two hours, so Contant is considering some options. By the time the candy and floats reach the kids at the end of the route “it’s too late for them,” so the idea is to condense it some.
Contant organizers the event by herself with some help from her family, so if anyone would like to help, or has ideas to share on the event, she would be happy to hear from you. Feel free to reach out via e-mail at email@example.com. A date must be chosen, candy must be collected, and floats must be gathered. There’s a lot of Halloween work to be done in the upcoming weeks.
She emphasized that the intent of the parade is to bring the community together and provide some Halloween fun for all involved. It’s “by the people for the people, so I want to cater to as many people as I can.”
And this event is not meant to take the place of door-to-door trick or treating, Contant notes. It’s just another way for kids, parents, and the town to celebrate the thrills of Halloween. “Anyone who wants to be involved can be involved,” she said, by helping to organize, entering a float, donating candy, or handing out candy on the big day.
“It turned into something that so many people are so supportive of and so happy to have,” Contant said, and now “there’s enough drive to keep pushing it forward.”
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca