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Report recommends City of Peterborough cancel Canada Day Parade

Citing declining participation, the City of Peterborough may cancel the annual Canada Day Parade.

A staff report to be reviewed by city council on Monday recommends that the parade be cancelled as it is “no longer a sustainable activity” as part of the city’s annual celebrations on July 1.

Other events are being finalized by the city’s recreation and parks services, notes director Rob McAulay and Sheldon Laidman, the city’s commissioner of community services.

Their report cites a decline in the number of float parade entries over the past five years. They say among factors contributing to the decline include the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, waning community interest, and increasing costs, such as higher individual float insurance premiums.

In 2019, there were 56 entries registered for the parade but only 16 participated. The report cites heat and humidity that day as a key factor.

The parade was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Returning in 2022, there were 21 floats and the parade ran for 16 minutes. In 2023, there were 25 float entries for the 20-minute parade.

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By comparison, the 2023 Santa Claus Parade featured more than 60 floats, the report notes.

The city does not employ staff directly to run events and it is managed by the recreation and parks staff “as an extra item to their normal job duties,” the report notes.

“Considering the costs associated with road closures and the lower float participation numbers, the parade is not longer either financially or logistically sustainable as part of the Canada Day celebrations,” the report states.

The report says the recommendation to cancel the parade came following consultation with a number of community partners.

In its place, several new events will be held at Millennium Park and Del Crary Park in the downtown.

Millennium Park will feature a mid-morning family-friendly event including face-painting, music, performers, Zumba games, refreshments and more. Del Crary Park will host an afternoon family-friendly music show and entertainment.

An evening fireworks event will follow the scheduled Musicfest concert at Del Crary Park.

The report says the $20,000 budgeted for the 2024 parade will be allocated to other Canada Day events.

More to come

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