In that same amount of time the entire Canada Day parade here in Aurora could have been run through twice.
As my older daughter frequently rides on one of the floats we camp out at the south end of the route to make things easier to pick her up when the parade ends. The parade this year was noticeably short with several audible is that it?’s being proclaimed when the cops bringing up the rear of the parade were in view.
Several regular floats were M.I.A.
No Shriners float.
No Polo float
No Theatre float.
Even the Historical Society couldn’t muster up slapping a magnet on a car like they did last year. This after their budget presentation last fall where they committed to have a presence at all town events outlining their intent to puchase an old car to show off in said parade.
Bands from Barrie and Uxbridge were added to try and fill the void but only served to emphasise the disconnect between the parade and our town. Another noticeable disconnect was the Aurora Farmers Market float (read panel van) where an arm was stuck out of the passenger window waving a bunch of broccoli. I guess it didn’t occur to the Farner’s Market that broccoli is not in season, meaning that obviously the product they were flogging didn’t come from a Farmer’s Market.
Back to the parade route, I’m not buying the reason it was shortened stemmed from “accessibility concerns” that a 2.9km ( that’s under 2 miles ) route, all downhill I may add, has suddenly become a gruelling gauntlet that will drop marchers like royal guards.
Aurora is supposed to be “Activating” itself, chasing some fanciful goal of becoming the most active town in all of Canada. Which seems highly unlikely if, unlike other municipalities, we’re going to shave 1.3km off a parade route that has been in place for several years without any reported issues.
No, I believe the parade route was shortened when organisers realised that buy-in from businesses and community groups has plunged to such a low-level that the parade no longer warrants a longer route.
Which probably wouldn’t be anything to write home about if Aurora wasn’t Canada’s Birthday Town. But it is, or at least it was.
Will it be next year, or is Scott Johnson’s piece a bleak prophecy for what’s in store?