Cloverdale’s Kate Crew was heartbroken after the BIA cancelled this year’s Surrey Santa Parade of Lights and its attempted drive-thru replacement event.
But that didn’t stop Crew from spreading some Christmas joy with a “Citizens’ Santa Parade” of her own Dec. 23.
“My rescue always participates in the parade,” said Crew. “So we were really sad about it being cancelled.”
Crew, founder of Cloverdale-based Loveabull Rescue Society, said the idea of a “drive-thru Cloverdale” parade came about after she was talking about the cancelled parade, and about how everyone was going to miss it, with a woman she works with named Buffy. That’s when Buffy suggested they decorate their cars and do a little mini-parade of their own.
“We thought we’d have about three or four cars from our rescue group,” explained Crew.
The next day, Crew found out via Facebook that another business—Always On Time Pilot Car Service—was planning a similar event.
“They were doing something too. They had about four cars. So I said, ‘Why don’t we do it together?’”
Always On Time said yes, so Crew created a Facebook page called “Cloverdale ‘Drive thru’ Christmas parade 2020.” She added the event just snowballed from there.
Always On Time Pilot Car Service came up with a parade route and Crew shared the FB page as wide as she could.
“We all decorated our cars and met at the casino,” she noted.
About 16 vehicles then wound their way through Cloverdale, West Cloverdale, back through the east part of Cloverdale, up through Clayton, into North Cloverdale, and ended at 68 Avenue and 176th Street.
“It was amazing how many people turned out. People were waiting in chairs. People were waiting in their cars parked on the side of the road. It was huge. It was the most fun I had all year.”
She said the people they encountered were so excited to see them. People watched from windows, stood on balconies, or sat on chairs on the sidewalks.
“I cried a couple times when I saw how many people were out cheering us on.”
One message she received summed up the night for her.
“To the impromptu Santa Paraders who just bombed through Cloverdale with a dozen cars honking and all aglow: thank you, I’m crying. That was magical.”
Pamela Wright commented on the group’s Facebook page, “You guys made my sons night thank you. He was on the corner with his light sticks waving.”
Suzanne White Anders remarked, “Soooo much fun!!! Thank you for everyone that organized!!!! Huge thank you!!! Made our Christmas.”
“We’re going to do it next year. That’s our plan,” added Crew. “And we’re going to make it bigger and better.”
Visit “Cloverdale ‘Drive thru’ Christmas parade 2020” for more pictures.
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