"When I grow up, I want to be a
Fireman with a Dalmation!"
The 2013 July 1st celebration kicked off with a pancake breakfast hosted by Breton and District Chamber of Commerce at the Breton Community Centre.
The non-judged parade began at noon led by the bagpiper and RCMP and the lovely girls carrying the Breton and District Chamber of Commerce banner. Carolyn Kuerbis served as Parade Marshal.
Any kid will tell you the best part of the parade is the tossed candy, Frisbees, and frozen Popsicle sticks and they were not disappointed.
Local and non-local businesses—S F Contracting, Nail-icious Nails, Warburg Curling Club, 790-CFCW, Al Shamal Ponoka Shrine Truck Unit, Kandrea Environmental, Breton Family Foods, Shery’s Place, On Ma Way Welding and Fabricating, Hon. Diana McQueen MLA Drayton Valley-Devon, Breton FCSS, D C Tinting, Town of Calmar, and ATB Financial—paraded in their ballooned and be-flagged vehicles.
There were splendid floats, too—Miss Joanne’s School of Dance-complete with an awesome street-side dance troupe number, New Moose Hill Hall, Breton Auto Body pulled the Elks and Royal Purple float (Alberta Elks is celebrating 100 years), Heads Up Family Hair Care, Big Tee, AIF, W. C. Trucking (1998) Ltd., Brazeau County, Brian Suitor with http://www.aluminumstatue.com/ , and the Village of Breton.
The crowd was treated to an impressive variety of antique cars, trucks, and black smoke belching tractors.
Animal lovers delighted in the goat drawn cart, horses-some pulling carriages or carts and mini horses. There was even a dog.
There was a bigfoot sighting—albeit a costumed one…compliments, we are told, of the Breton car wash.
Not long after the parade ended, Drayton Valley Fire Department took up the challenge given by Breton and Rural Fire Department for a fire hose contest demonstrating firefighting skills such as fastest hose connection, and accuracy at hitting a target. Those downwind of the cooling mist were most appreciative given the bright sun and high temperature—32 degrees Celsius. Breton & Rural Firefighters hosted the Beer Gardens with proceeds to go towards specialized extrication gloves. These gloves offer firefighters cut and abrasion protection from broken glass and sharp metal while maintaining dexterity—something a regular work gloves does not provide.
The Breton High School Travel Club treated kids to inflatable bouncers, faces painters, mini golf and carnival games. Breton FCSS helped organize the activities and FCSS Coordinator Deanne Young said, “The day was a great success due to our volunteers and we hope everyone had a great time.”
Before and after the parade, folks had a chance to peruse the ATB Show N Shine featuring cars, motorbikes, antiques, and other motorized equipment. Breton and District FCSS served cupcakes outside the Village Office. The Bake Shop offered smokies, cotton candy and a bouncy castle. Breton Golden Age Club sold pie, coffee and pop and Breton Museum sponsored a Family Bingo. The Museum was open to the public. The Breton Community Center was a hub of activity in the evening with a Jam Session and Dance and then the best way to end a July 1st celebration—a fire works display.
Two seniors shared two very different parade experiences. Lovely Elizabeth “Babe”—age 92—has attended the Breton Canada Day parade for nine years.Babe was sitting curbside in a comfy lawn chair, holding a red and white “Canada” umbrella as she waited for the parade to start. She was surrounded by twenty-five family members from Pigeon Lake, Edmonton and Calgary who look forward to their Breton Canada Day family tradition. Most of them mirrored Babe’s enthusiasm by sporting red and white Canadiana and flying Canadian flags. It’s always atreat to see multi-generational families enjoying a parade.Babe said her favorite part of the parade is the RCMP and the clowns.
82-year-old Stan Burton of Breton brought some of his well-crafted wooden birdhouses, sturdy kids’ table and chair sets, lawn ornaments, and a handy convertible chair/step ladder to sell. He had just sold one of the kids’ table sets.
The self-taught wood worker estimates he can spend as much as 40 hours a week crafting various pieces. He is grateful to his daughter and son-in-law for the woodworking shop. “As you get older, you’ve got to have a purpose,” he advises. He first built a little wagon from a tree when he was sixteen. He recalls soaking the wood so it would not split when he made the wheels. It worked and for the past 66 years Stan has found great satisfaction in his hobby.
A closing comment from Mayor Darren Aldous:
“Breton like most small communities is struggling with volunteers for many of our groups and community clubs but year after year we seem to still pull off the best July 1st celebration of any small town in Alberta! Our parade is usually so big that those leading the parade when they make the loop around town have to stop and wait for the fire trucks at the end who are just starting. As always, very proud of all the volunteers who make July 1st an awesome day in Breton.”