With the 11th annual Surrey’s Santa Parade of Lights just one month away, the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association is seeking financial contributions to ensure this year’s event is a success.
“This event is always nothing short of outstanding,” said Paul Orazietti, executive director of the Cloverdale BIA. “We don’t want to cancel it and we already have two-thirds of what we need in terms of our budget.”
The shortfall for the Dec. 4 event is close to $7,000, and Orazietti is confident the community will pull together and support the much-loved event that attracts 8,000 spectators each year.
Comprised of two components, the first parade component gets underway at 5 p.m. and is a convoy of decorated and illuminated Big Rigs for Kids from Vancouver Island.
The rigs traverse across the City of Surrey, from Cloverdale to North Surrey, ending up at City Hall.
The second component travels through Cloverdale, starting and ending at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds and features community groups, local big rigs, sports teams, vintage vehicles, floats, remote control vehicles, mascots, horses and dogs, boats and marching groups, among other attractions.
“We have doubled the length of the parade route this year,” Orazietti said. “From the fairgrounds, we head east on 60A Avenue and then south on 177B Street, west on 57A Avenue and then finally north on 176.”
Orazietti said costs keep rising and – even though Big Rigs has offered to cover the fuel for the trucks – it’s the nearly $5,000 to bring them over on BC Ferries that’s adding to the shortfall.
“Ninety per cent of our budget comes from external sponsorship dollars and we just need an extra boost of donations to cover the rest.”
Though the focus is on lights, other parade elements include food vendors, children’s activities including face painting, photos with Santa (bring your own camera) and parade ambassadors who will be collecting food, donations and new, unwrapped toys for charities like the Surrey Food Bank, Surrey Christmas Bureau and Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program.
To make a donation, visit cloverdalebia.com
– Vicki Brydon