January 24th, 2021

Making the best of COVID Canada Day

By Jensen, Randy on July 2, 2020.

The Rotary Club of Raymond hosted the town’s annual Canada Day Parade, with this year’s adaptation a parade in reverse where floats are parked and families drive around. Herald photo by Greg Bobinec @GBobinecHerald

Chalk art in Downtown Lethbridge; Raymond hosts reverse parade

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald


With COVID-19 halting almost all Canada Day events throughout southern Alberta, community organizations found ways to keep communities connected for the nation’s celebration.

The Lethbridge Downtown BRZ heard about the City of Lethbridge cancelling its Canada Day celebrations and still wanted to bring the community together, so they closed off 6 Street South downtown to decorate the street with chalk art.

“It was kind of a last-minute thing that we put together about two weeks ago,” says Emily Chong, marketing co-ordinator for Downtown BRZ. “The chalk event was happening throughout Lethbridge before as a homage to all the unity by chalk, so we decided to put this family friendly, fun and socially distancing ability event and it came together really well and it was well received.”

While keeping distant, families and friends were able to spend their morning and early afternoon decorating the street with bright colours and unique artwork.

“Usually the street is filled with cars and now it is filled with people and art and it is super cool to see something new and different in this area,” says Chong. “It was awesome and very inspiring. It started at 10 a.m. and it was very steady throughout the day, everyone was following the rules and wanted to draw and participate which was really fun.”

South of Lethbridge, the Rotary Club of Raymond celebrated with just town members for their annual Canada Day parade. This year, organizers had to change the plan of how the parade was going to function for social distancing, and decided to do a reverse parade where floats sit in the middle of the road, and townfolk drive around.

“Everybody likes everybody here, it’s a great town to raise your family in, everybody likes to do things together,” says Robert Bisett, Rotary Club event organizer. “We decided to not have the spectators close together and they will drive by in their cars, so it is a reverse parade. We do have an incentive for people to participate by giving them a little cash to help with their decorating costs.”

Whether it was bringing communities together, or celebrating together as one, southern Albertans found ways to show their Canadian spirit in their own unique ways.

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