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Souris' 40th annual Christmas parade is getting flipped around on Saturday, Dec. 5

Mr. and Mrs. Claus wave to those attending Souris' 39th annual Christmas parade in 2019.
Mr. and Mrs. Claus wave to those attending Souris' 39th annual Christmas parade in 2019.

While the town's 40th annual Christmas parade won't necessarily be the one it was planning for, Mayor JoAnne Dunphy said she is still just as excited.

"This is something different for sure," she said. "Hopefully everybody will be able to enjoy themselves and have a great parade day."

Despite COVID-19, the parade will be celebrating the milestone year by rolling through Souris today from 2-4 p.m. with one major change. The floats won't be moving, but those attending the parade in their vehicles will be.

The reverse parade is based on the same model Summerside used for it's Christmas parade this year. Floats will be parked along Longworth Street and will remain stationary for motorists to carefully drive by and enjoy.

Jeannie Roche, the town's special events co-ordinator, said at least 35 floats were registered. Some of them are designed a little differently seeing as only one side needs to face the street, and some designers decided to have some fun by using the number 40 as a theme in their float.

"Because bigger and better couldn't necessarily happen this year."

There will be volunteers near the beginning of the parade handing out candy to each vehicle. As well, if kids want to write letters to Santa then some of his elves will be posted near his sleigh at the end of the parade to help deliver them, Roche said.

Donations of non-perishable food items are also welcome in support of the Souris Food Bank, as are pet food for the P.E.I. Humane Society. Walking the parade route will not be permitted, and anyone unable to attend can view a recording of it afterward on the town's Facebook page.

Daniel Brown is a local journalism initiative reporter, a position funded by the federal government.

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