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Knights go all out for 40th


The Knights of Columbus Christmas Parade of Lights is marking its 40th anniversary, Nov. 25.
And to celebrate, parade marshall Rodney Juba said, the variety of activities offered has expanded.
The day begins on a sweet note with Breakfast with Santa, he said, which is a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Parkland Women’s League, at Knights on 11th Hall at 8 a.m. to noon.
“And we’re asking the public to bring a non-perishable food item for the Dauphin and District Community Food Bank,” Juba added.
At 10 a.m., Countryfest Community Cinema will host a free movie, he said, noting doors for Despicable Me 3 open at 9:30 a.m. and concessions will be available. Movie-goers are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank.
Members of the community may skate with Santa from noon to 1 p.m. at Credit Union Place, Juba noted, plus Norman Long will offer free horse drawn wagon rides in the parking lot from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting.
Skaters may then switch from their blades to swim suits, he added, as the South Parkland Healthy Child Coalition is sponsoring a free swim from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in honour of National Child Day.
Students from Dauphin Regional Comprehensive Secondary School will have craft tables set up, Juba said, in the top floor of Rotary Arena, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
“Last year, that was one of the most popular events,” he added.
Santa Claus will be in the big red chair at Credit Union Place lobby, Juba announced, from 12:30 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
The annual Christmas Parade of Lights begins at 5:30 p.m., he said, adding it will be dark by then and watchers are reminded to be safe by staying off the streets along the route.
Additionally, Juba said, parade participants are asked to refrain from throwing candy off of floats and have volunteers walk along the street and hand out treats instead.
Juba recommended children wear reflective clothing or carry flashing or glowing items and he asked motorists to avoid the staging area on Mountain Road, prior to the parade.
With about 68 entries in the parade last year, Juba wants to make it even bigger for 2017 and, as a result, is looking for more entries in the parade.
Hot chocolate stand, sponsored by various community groups, he added, will be along the route, once again this year.
Juba noted the parade route has changed slightly this year.
Due to the road closure in front of Dauphin Regional Health Centre, he said, the parade will proceed down Main Street and turn down Second Street SW, rather than going down Third Street SW.
The Knights of Columbus Christmas Parade of Lights received a substantial grant from Dauphin Neighbourhood Renewal, Juba said, to assist with parade expenses.
“We’re very grateful for that, it allows us a bit more flexibility with some of the events that we can run for the children during the day,” he added.
The Knights of Columbus have partnered with the Dauphin and District Chamber of Commerce, Juba noted, which will host its annual Moonlight Madness the evening prior to parade day.
“We’re looking for the whole community to be involved in one capacity or another,” he said.
“We’re going to try and give the community a good start to the Christmas season.”

M. A. Nyquist