The ever so famous Cochrane Labour Day Parade is just around the corner, and once again volunteers are needed.
With over 70 floats registered for the 51st annual parade, Kailey Leonzio, Event Coordinator for Cochrane and Area Events Society (CAES), says they are still in need of approximately fifty volunteers. "The biggest need for parade volunteers is to cover the barricades. To close down the roads, we have to use barricades to ensure the safety of everyone in the parade, spectators, as well as the general public. We have to make sure vehicles won't drive into the parade, and to facilitate that; we need quite a few people."
If you were already planning to be a spectator at the parade, manning a barricade ensures you will have a good seat. "I encourage people that are coming regardless, to come on down. You are going to have a good spot sitting in front of a barricade while ensuring no one is getting past. You are still going to see lots, almost most of the parade, and you stay just until you can take the barricade down."
Covering a barricade isn't taxing, says Leonzio, and can even be a family initiative. "I don't know if people don't realize it, but you won't have to run around. If you reach out to us, and you want to bring your kids down with you, we can maybe put you on one that is not going to be as busy. We still need people there to monitor the barricade, but you can still watch the parade as well."
However, if you are a business owner and are not planning to participate in the parade, you could look at volunteering as a great marketing tool, says Leonzio. "It can be a great opportunity for a business to hand out coupons or fliers, so people get to know who you are. You can also make it fun. It really does show your support of community events when you are volunteering your time to man a barricade to ensure the event is successful."
Out of 84 spots, roughly only 30 are filled at this time. If you are a business, group of friends, family, or an organization, and you can assist by helping out, go HERE.
"We are trying to do social media pushes, and we have reached out to the churches. We understand that it is the last long weekend of the summer, and people may be getting in one last camping trip before kids head back to school. We do hope; however, people will be encouraged to stick around and enjoy the parade or come and help out. It is a huge need of ours to ensure this parade happens year after year. While we usually find numbers to be a little lower a couple of weeks out, we always seem to fill the spots, and people do step up. In which, we are hoping to have that happen again this year."
Anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 people line the parade route every year to cheer on the bands, businesses, and organizations that are reflective of the Cochrane community.
The Cochrane Labour Day Parade will kick off with pre-parade entertainment starting at 9 a.m. before floats hit the route at ten on the Monday of Labour Day long weekend. (September 2).
A picture of the route is below, and although it is the same route, it will be going in a different direction. "It is going in a reverse direction. It will be going through HIstoric downtown first, and then coming and ending in the Quarry. We wanted to bring things back to the Historic downtown, so we'll have a band playing at Centennial Plaza from 9 until 10 before the parade starts. We will also have some face painters and henna artists set up in the Rexall parking lot and then different performers will be placed along Railway and into the Quarry."