Thousands show up for Pitt Meadows parade

Phoenix Desiletes

Phoenix Desiletes

Thousands turned out for the 73rd annual Pitt Meadows Day celebration on Saturday.

In fact, crowds were double what they were last year, said Richard Keltie of  the Pitt Meadows Day Society.

“It’s the best year we’ve ever had, there’s no doubt about it,” declares Keltie.

He attributes great advertising in combination with the beautiful weather for the high turnout.

Thousands turned out for the parade, says Keltie.

“And despite the hockey game, there was still a good turn out for the barbeque.”

There were 77 entries and close to 12,050 participants in the parade, which started at 11 a.m. at Blakely Rd. and Hammond Rd. and made its way through Pitt Meadows to Harris Rd. and McMyn Rd..

Early risers were able to enjoy the Lions Club pancake breakfast at Heritage Hall. Opening ceremonies took place at 1 p.m. and included the crowning of Miss Pitt Meadows 2011, the Citizen of the Year award, the Lynn Papp Community Services Award and the presentation of parade trophies.

Rose Smyth was crowned Miss Pitt Meadows 2011.

Nikki McLaren won the Lynn Papp award.

Shirley Murphy was named citizen of the year.

All day Saturday there was entertainment both outdoors and in and activities for the whole family.

Crafters lined Harris Road Park selling everything from flower planters to traditional hooked rugs to wooden toys.

This is the most there has ever been, says Pitt Meadows Day Society president George Coghlin. There were 40 crafters who took part this year, compared to only 11 last year.

Coghlin admits that he was concerned about this year’s barbeque hosted by the Pitt Meadows fire department, coinciding with Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals, involving the Vancouver Canucks.

“Attendance was a little down from last year [for the barbeque],” he acknowledges. “But the barbeque, nevertheless, went well.”

So did the fireworks, which took place at 10 p.m..

All in all, Coghlin thought the day was fabulous. He was thrilled with the turn out and by the people participating on the first really nice day of the year.

“We’ll be having a wrap up meeting soon,” to discuss the success of this years festival, Coghlin said of the Pitt Meadows Day committee. “Then we’ll get down to work again in the fall,” for next year.