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North Sydney volunteers salvage Christmas parade, but Glace Bay cancels theirs
SYDNEY, N.S. -- Monday night was a long night for North Sydney's fire chief.
A ban on nighttime parades was upheld Monday by Cape Breton Regional Council, prompting North Sydney to make the difficult call to cancel their community's Christmas parade for the first time in 29 years.
"It was a very reluctant decision that we made and it saddened the people that were there," said Fire Chief Lloyd MacIntosh.
But on Tuesday, MacIntosh's phone was ringing off the hook. Hundreds of people were offering to help put on a daytime parade, and planned to meet Tuesday night to revisit the decision.
"We've had multiple offers from other fire departments," MacIntosh said. "From private citizens, from different groups that have said, 'If it means saving the parade, let's come out and help.'"
Among those is Glace Bay's fire chief, who says he will send firefighters over to North Sydney to help make up for the lack of numbers available to organize a parade during the day.
"I know some of the fire departments were contacting him and offering some help, and I offered the same from our department," said Glace Bay Fire Chief John Chant.
In a meeting Tuesday night, the Glace Bay Fire Department decided to cancel its annual Christmas parade.
Chant tells CTV News it was not an easy decision, but they simply do not have enough volunteer firefighters to support a daytime parade and fire services.
Instead of a parade, Chant says firefighters will hold other, stand-alone events in the community with their float.
This is the first time in at least six decades that a Christmas parade will not be held in Glace Bay. The chief says more details will be posted to their Facebook page Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the North Sydney Fire Department held a meeting Tuesday evening to revisit their decision to cancel their parade. CTV's calls to that department were not returned before news time.
North Sydney Coun. Earlene MacMullin says while the CBRM's decision wasn't the one she wanted, it's uniting people in the Christmas spirit and for other times of the year.
"We have, on the north side in particular, lost a few of our festivals due to lack of volunteerism," MacMullin said. "I've gotten a few messages from people in the community that are willing to try and take these things over, so they're actually starting to step forward for more than just Christmas."
But for now, there's work to be done to save some community traditions this holiday season.