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Parades break up the COVID routine

LAC LA BICHE - Wave-processions, COVID convoys, appreciation parades — they go by many names in the area's communities, but the idea behind them is the same: Shine some light.

In recent weeks, processions have honked and waved their way around Lakeland hospitals, seniors' homes, police stations and neighbourhoods. Parades have also been organized to bring some fun to COVID-cooped birthdays for the area's younger generation.

Organizers say the parades can be a way to say thanks to the younger generation as well for coping with the many challenges and changes they have faced during the ongoing pandemic. A recent procession through Lac La Biche's Young's Beach subdivision was part of a three-stop birthday convoy.

"Our kids are really impacted by this adjustment," says Charissa Delaire, a local elementary school teacher and one of the parade's organizers. "... and we keep seeing children forfeit their birthday parties for our community's safety."

Fire trucks were part of the procession that also drew residents into the parade line, decorating golf carts, ATVs, vehicles and bicycles. Families watched the parade from behind windows and front lawns.

"The parade is intended for the children and the birthdays but I think everyone enjoyed it especially those who are in it," said Delaire, one of the organizers, explaining that even a brief change to the 'new norm' of home isolation and social distancing can make things better. "The community members of Young Beach really seemed to appreciate the few minutes that helped ameliorate our stay-at-home, stay safe directive."