Sunday, July 14, 2024

Parades in the Pontiac

Bryson’s Parade of Lights and a little bit of something extra

Glen Hartle
Shawville Dec. 1, 2023
Bryson holds their annual Parade of Lights on the first Friday of December and this year that fell on the 1st. The parade started at the Forest Inn on Highway 148, made its way through the streets of town with a wide variety of floats and displays, and finally came to a stop at the Bryson Lions Club hall where several other surprises were in store.
The parade itself was in no hurry and, on a pleasantly balmy evening, that was of no bother to any of the generous number of folks gathered on both sides of the streets. With police sirens singing aloud, the parade announced its arrival and followed with a delightful display of all things festive. There was a plow truck from the Municipality of Bryson dressed up like a reindeer belting “Rudolph” through the stereo system. There were tiny tikes on tiny vehicles bedecked in seasonal charm. There were tractors looking very much the part and semi-trailer trucks making proud. And last, but most certainly not least, came Santa, and in a very special sleigh.
The sleigh has previously been a part of these festivities, and has just now been donated in perpetuity to the Bryson Fire Department by Lynne Zimmerling and her brothers, Daniel and Gaétan, in memory of their parents, Denise and Oscar Tourangeau. Santa was happy to make use of it on its inaugural journey as a part of the brigade and Zimmerling was joyfully emotional as she made the dedication in a subtle ceremony beneath the street lamps at the Lions Club hall.
Once Santa entered the hall, there was near delirium amongst the many, many youngsters gathered in anticipation. “Santa’s here!” came the cry from every corner of the crowded room.
While Santa held court, Zimmerling made official her donation and this was followed by a very special gift from the Lions to the fire department: a brand new Phillips defibrillator, presented by member Rose Gravelle. Fire Chief Shawn Bowie received it on behalf of the squad and in his gratitude noted, “Minutes matter and seconds count. And this helps us keep everyone safe. Thank you.”
Attendees were treated to cookies, compliments of Suzie and her very popular food stand on Main Street, and to hot chocolate with marshmallows, compliments of the Lions. Santa’s elves were all over the place, laughter could be heard continuously, door prizes were doled out and, generally, the Christmas spirit was everywhere and all at once. Bryson is known for community and showed Santa they should be on his “good” list.


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