‘A great celebration’: Arthur 150 parade to include past and present

ARTHUR –  Vivianne Macdonald has seen many parades since arriving in Arthur in 1973.

But she has never planned one herself – until now. 

Faye Craig, chair of the Arthur 150 steering committee, asked Macdonald, a long-time friend, in January how she wanted to help with the upcoming three-day celebration of 150 years since Arthur became incorporated.

Macdonald opted to orchestrate the parade and has been riding an upward learning curve since.

You may not know it, however, when you see what she has planned for July 1.

Departing Arthur Public School (Conestoga Street North) at 3pm on Canada Day, the parade will be led by Wellington North Fire Services, followed by the Fergus Pipe Band. 

“You’ll be able to hear them long before you see them,” Macdonald quipped.

The parade will turn onto Smith Street, travelling eastward for 700 metres before turning onto Charles Street East.

From there, the parade will turn onto Isabella Street East, bending onto Isabella Street West, down Tucker Street and onto Walton Street before finishing where Walton and Conestoga Street North meet.

When the parade reaches Farmers Plus on Smith Street, two teams of heavy Percheron workhorses, supplied by John Northcote and David Ratcliffe, will join with elected officials and dignitaries bouncing along in open-air wagons.

Macdonald says there will be around 25 John Deere tractors from the Upper Canada Two Cylinder Club, antique cars from the Classic Ford Truck Club, and many commercial and business floats sprinkled throughout.

Bringing up the tail end of the procession will be Ivan Armstrong Trucking with a rumoured jolly surprise. 

The route covers 2km and Macdonald is hoping “the whole of Wellington County” comes out to witness the once-in-a-lifetime event.

“It’s all going to fall into place just beautifully; I know that because we’ve got so many good people,” Macdonald said.

Bonny McDougall, Diana Macdonald (Vivianne’s daughter), and Lianne Kaminski are also helping to bring the parade together.

“It makes me very proud of the way things are coming together and uniting the whole group,” said Macdonald. 

“We’ve had a pretty tough couple of years, and I think this is a great celebration.”

Road closure

Main Street will be closed between Conestoga and Leonard Streets by the Township of Wellington North for the parade.

A detour route will be available along Wells, Domville and Eliza Streets. Domville Street is undergoing construction, but will remain accessible until after the Canada Day weekend. Detour signs will appear at Eliza and Wells.

There is still time for anyone interested in joining the parade to express interest by emailing Debbie Atkinson at debatkinson2014@gmail.com.