West Nipissing hosts two Christmas events that are much anticipated by many—the Christmas Parade of Lights, and the annual Seniors’ Supper.
Council recently green lit the parade. However, the Seniors' Supper has been postponed.
These are the “two main events” for the Christmas season, explained Stephan Poulin, the municipality’s director of community services.
Poulin mentioned that “we discussed this with the health unit, and we discussed it with staff,” to garner input, and the consensus was “we can proceed with the Christmas parade and ensure everyone’s safety.”
The Seniors’ Supper, being an indoor event, is a little more difficult to host given current pandemic restrictions.
Staff considered “how we lay the event out,” Poulin said, and “how we seat people at tables” to maintain a safe environment, but in the end, felt it best to postpone.
As for the parade, Poulin expects a full show equal in scope “to what we did prior to Covid.”
Last year’s parade was cancelled due to the virus, and measures will be enforced this December to ensure public safety.
“Obviously we’re going to request that the people attending the parade cooperate with us,” Poulin said.
One of those requests is that float riders do not hand out candy along the route “all the while asking people to socially distance and wear masks.”
As for the Seniors' Supper, municipal staff agreed hosting it this December posed “too much risk” and decided to postpone until 2022.
Mayor Joanne Savage was disappointed by the decision to cancel the “traditional event,” but emphasized the importance of health restrictions and did not want to “put at risk volunteers and staff and the people who are vulnerable.”
She mentioned the budget for the dinner is between six and seven thousand dollars, which will be kept in reserve until the time arrives to host the event.
It is important “to recognize our seniors,” Mayor Savage emphasized, and council, in agreement, decided to host the Seniors' Supper “as soon as restrictions are lifted.”
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca