A welcome sight
Santa was all smiles and waves to the crowd as he neared the end of the parade.     Carruthers photo

Muriel Carruthers
Villager Staff
METCALFE – The Metcalfe Community Association presented the annual Christmas in the Village Parade in full holiday cheer on Sat., Dec. 9, with numerous floats, community and business support and Mother Nature keeping the day cool and dry.

This junior firefighter in matching suit walked proudly with his “commander” and handed out treats to the children in the crowd. Carruthers photo

The parade started at 2 p.m., on the western edge of the village, near the firehall. and proceeded east along Victoria St., until finally making the right turn at Victoria Park and heading on to the Metcalfe Community Centre.

The winter camping out float with the Girl Guides of Canada saw quite a few members in the Sparks and Brownies age groups, smiling and waving, and wearing their Girl Guide shirts over winter attire. Carruthers photo

Community support was obvious as people gathered along the parade route through the village. Volunteers from businesses and organizations (Carleton County Junior Farmers, St. Catherine Catholic School, Metcalfe Lions, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 589 Osgoode, Rural Family Connections, Royal Canadian Army Cadets, to name a few), walked alongside the floats, handing out candies and other items or collecting donations for the food bank. In addition to other politicians taking part in the parade – Goldie Ghamari (Ontario PC-candidate-Carleton) and MP-PC-Carleton Pierre Polievre, the City of Ottawa float included Mayor Jim Watson and Osgoode Ward Councillor George Darouze.

Metcalfe Skating Club members were handing out goodies as their Olympic hopeful float pulled a giant skate with appropriate decorations for the season. Carruthers photo

Other than Santa, another main attraction was the Fries for Charity, a self-contained French-fry cooker and truck which is used for charities to support fundraising efforts. With a freewill donation for the cost, people were lining up to enjoy the fries and to donate. Proceeds were going to the Osgoode Township Food Cupboard and the Metcalfe Skating Club. Retired previous owner of A.J.’s Catering, Allan Graham, who with wife Judy has been a strong sponsor of charitable organizations in the community, was busy calling out to people to come and enjoy the delicious fries. Graham pointed to a sign with the sponsored businesses and informed The Villager that everything was donated to produce the fries from the frying oil, propane used, chip boxes, and even the insurance.

Of course as tradition has it, Santa finally arrived at the end of the parade and waved from the last float, no doubt looking forward to meeting the kids at the community centre, hearing their wishes for Christmas, having his photo taken with them, as well as enjoying some hot chocolate.

Following later on as dusk arrived was the lighting ceremony at Victoria Park where carollers and Fries for Charity awaited the community residents.