CFNV impresses parade judges
Sparkling with candles and tinsel, the Community Futures Nicola Valley float took first place in Friday night’s Country Christmas Parade.
Of the 45 different floats that made their way through Merritt’s downtown core, judges decided that CFNV’s float was the most eye-catching and awarded the company first place in two categories — Best Overall and Best Lights.
Celebrating CFNV’s 25th anniversary and Merritt’s 100th anniversary, the float resembled a giant three-tiered birthday cake, while employees dressed as presents walked along beside it.
Runners up in the best overall category included the Baillie House, the Lower Nicola Band School, the Florentine and the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resources.
Other top spots went to the Florentine for Best Theme, the Baillie House for Best Originality, the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resources for Enthusiasm and the Lower Nicola Band School for Best School Spirit.
Mayor Susan Roline, Lois Ward and Jean Hill judged the parade.
“We would like to thank all those who participated, the citizens and the visitors who came out to support this annual event,” said Mike Goetz who co-ordinated the parade with his wife Brenda.
Goetz estimates that there were close to 400 people riding or walking along with the floats in the parade, which featured snowmen, elves and, of course, Santa Claus himself. The parade also featured Ken Moyes representing Merritt’s pioneer families as the Grand Marshal — a first for the annual parade.
Besides the participants, hundreds of spectators bundled up and turned out to watch the parade, which has become a tradition in Merritt.
The number of participating floats was down this year from the 64 that participated last year, making the parade significantly shorter. Goetz says that part of this is due to the fact that groups like the ambassadors are not active in Merritt any longer. He also said that the Walk of Stars was focused on opening the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame during the parade and so did not enter a float.
Best Lights: Community Futures
Runners up: Kolors cutting lounge, City of Merritt, Norgaards ready Mix, and Ministry of Forests
Best Theme: The Florentine
Runners up: NV Explorers, Vay League Cadets, Coldwater Smurfs and Petit Cafe Diane
Best Originality: Baillie House
Runners up: Farmers Marker, Lower Nicola Bach School, Home Hardware, and Alpha Design
Enthusiasm: Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources
Runners up: Crime Stoppers, Tumbleweed Pre School, Logan Lake Fire Department and BC Ambassadors
Best School Spirit: Lower Nicola Band School
Runners up: Colletville Elementary School, and Tumbleweed Pre School
Best Overall: Community Futures
Runners up: Baillie House, Lower Nicola Band School, The Florentine and Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resources.