Council passes parade policy in time for Saint Nick’s visit

Last Updated: November 10, 2022By

The City of Cold Lake’s 2022 Santa Claus Parade will be the first to take place under a new policy aimed at governing the content of parades to ensure that messaging is family-friendly and consistent with the event being celebrated.

“We had bylaws that required the parade route to be well-established in advance, and that the appropriate safety precautions and city permits issued before hand, but we did not have a policy that stated what was allowed and what was off the table, when it came to messaging,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Our purpose here is not to be heavy handed, but council felt we needed a tool that staff could use to ensure that family events are celebrated for what they are and that controversial messages are kept out of city parades.”

The new policy explicitly states that parades and their participants in Cold Lake cannot be discriminatory or incite hatred towards any group, portray a message that is unlawful, interfere with the safety or comfortable enjoyment of the community, be contrary to the policies of the City, damage the City’s reputation or display controversial content.

“We know that some of these guidelines are broad and open to interpretation, but we trust that our staff have the best interests of the community and our community events at heart,” Copeland said. “This is a tool that can be used to make sure that the spirit of the event is adhered to and that community celebrations remain family-friendly events.”

The policy is in place for the City of Cold Lake’s upcoming Santa Claus Parade, which is set to take place on November 25 at 6:00 pm, with a float registration deadline of November 23.

“We are all looking forward to the event and we appreciate staff’s time and effort, as well as all of the time and effort put in by our local businesses and organizations who register floats,” Copeland said. “This policy corrects a procedural deficiency Council noticed, and gives our staff the tools they need to continue delivering an exceptional, family-friendly experience at the City’s parades.”

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