Jessi Pernitsky, activities co-ordinator at Poplar Courts Special Care Home in Wilkie, had seen parades in other communities and thought “why not in Wilkie?”
She put a request for people to decorate their vehicles and be at the schools on 7th Avenue near St. James on May 27 at 2:30 p.m. A line up was formed and participants drove by Poplar Courts, where the residents would be outside ready to see family and friends.
The residents are anxious to see people, yet keep safe, and what better way to break the monotony than with a parade. The parade also went by Bethany, downtown and the West View Villa, creating a special event for everyone.
The day was windy and cool, but that didn’t stop people from coming out with their vehicles, which were decorated with streamers and balloons. There were dressed up golf carts, kids on bicycles, people walking and frontline workers.
The RCMP led the parade followed by an ambulance and EMTs. The Wilkie and District Fire Department had their vehicles out, including the 1954 fire truck that is housed in the Wilkie Museum Complex. The Town of Wilkie mascot, Hoppy, was in attendance along with people from town.
Former Wilkie residents, the family of Nels and Mona Wald, heard about the parade and came from Lashburn to take part. They said they remembered the excellent care their parents received and wanted a chance to cheer up the residents who call Poplar Courts home.
The residents were dressed warmly because of the weather, but that didn’t stop them from waving to everyone as the parade passed by. The sign on the fence at Poplar Courts said it all ‑‑ “We Miss You” with a heart beside the words.
As daily lives slowly return to normal, normal for the residents of Poplar Courts and Bethany will take a bit longer. The most important message from the parade is that a positive can come out from a negative by working together. Great job, Jessi, and all her helpers.
Who knows there might be another parade in our future? Stay safe, everyone.