THUNDER BAY – The Parade of Lights came back in a big way.
Organizers of the always popular holiday event said about 130 vehicles were entered into the parade, which took last year off because of COVID-19 gathering restrictions.
Greg Stephenson said it felt great being able to stage the parade for the first time in two years.
It’s phenomenal and the support that we’ve had – I’ve been driving around just seeing all the people that are out ready to watch and just looking at the trucks that are parked here – we never missed a beat. It’s wonderful and I’m glad we were able to do it,” Stephenson said.
Crowds lined the entire parade route, which began at Manitoulin Transport on Main Street, worked its way along Memorial Avenue and then wrapped up with a sensory-free zone on Fort William Road.
It’s an event that brings the community together, Stephenson said.
“People were ecstatic when we said we were going to have it. Obviously they were disappointed when we couldn’t have the Santa Claus parade, but one out of two’s not bad and hopefully we’ll be full bore next year with them,” he said.
“It’s a beautiful night. It’s nice to get out and enjoy what you feel like is Christmas and forget about all the other troubles that have happened the past 18 months.”
The parade was also a fundraiser for several local charities, including the Thunder Bay Therapeutic Riding Association, Autism Ontario-Thunder Bay, Special Olympics Ontario-Thunder Bay and the George Jeffrey Children’s Centre.