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In order to help out the local food banks, spectators at the upcoming Wallaceburg Christmas Parade are being asked to bring canned goods, non-perishable food items and toys on Saturday.
Bill Wolsing, a firefighter with the Chatham-Kent Fire Department Station #3 in Wallaceburg, said his fellow firefighters volunteer to gather the items right at the start of the parade.
“We collect them during the parade. We are going to be at the beginning of the parade. There is a pickup truck and a trailer and we have got some firefighters along side on the road giving out candy and accepting canned goods for the food drive,” Wolsing said.
“We have been doing this collection for the parade for a long time,” he said. “I remember 20 years ago when I started working for the fire service I was involved with it and have done it every year. I would say 25 years for sure.”
Wolsing said along with the canned good and non-perishable food items, they are also holding a toy drive.
“They have a box at each hall at stations 1, 2 and 3 for people to drop off gifts for kids. They should be brand new toys, Wolsing said.
Joe Janssens, the long-time chair of the parade, is going to be the parade marshal this year.
“I am the VIP this year,” he said. “After 15 years of doing the parade the guys asked me if I would be the parade marshal. My wife Heather has been doing the canned goods with the fire department for the last 18 years and they have been doing it for St.Vincent de Paul and for Salvation Army.”
Janssens said they look for anything.
“Just as long as it’s not an outdated can. If it is something that you would eat at home, than the food banks can use it and the same goes with toys,” he said.
The 46th annual Knights of Pythias Christmas Parade takes place in Wallaceburg on Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. The theme this year is Walt Disney.
Organizers are encouraging people to come with their floats early at around 1 p.m. to get setup on Arnold Street. The route will follow the same path as usual, down Dufferin, right onto Nelson and then wrapping up at the St. Clair Catholic District School Board parking lot on Duncan Street.
The group is also hoping to break the record for most lawn tractors in a parade. The record currently sits at over 800. Back in 2013, the Wallaceburg parade included nearly 300 lawn tractors.
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