Positivity and smiles all around on Pitt Meadows Day

It’s 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning and people are starting to settle down on the sidewalks of Harris Road.

The sun has begun to shine and all you hear are peals of laughter and conversations between family and friends.

The bright colourful chairs catch your eyes and toddlers are starting to play on the road closed to traffic.

Read: Family block party returns to Maple Ridge after a decade

One of the traffic personnel, Claudette Helland, 50, invited and taught me to do the Hokie Pokie with her. A mom and children were passing by and she invited them to join in, too.

Her contagious laughter and energy added to the spirit of the day.

“I am from Surrey and I don’t work weekends but I found out there was a parade I said ‘yes, I wouldn’t miss a parade. I am still a 12-year-old at heart and never grew up even though I am a grandmother now,” said Helland.

Claudette Helland, 50, re-enacting the Hokie Pokie dance at the Pitt Meadows Day parade/Ayesha Ghaffar

It’s the start of 81st Pitt Meadows Day after a two-year hiatus and everyone is eagerly waiting for the parade to begin. 

A group of moms stood in the middle of the road and asked me to take a photo of their children. 

“I love Pitt Meadows. After the pandemic, it’s good to have some normalcy back,” said Amanda Hollywood. 

A toddler was playing on his own when a Shih Tzu, filled with excitement, started to run behind him. 

Across the street, a group of teens danced to popular TikTok songs. The scenes were almost as if picked from a movie. Pleasant and positive.

A community member selling cotton candy and toys ahead of the Pitt Meadows Day parade/Ayesha Ghaffar

Adding to that is Grace Community Church on Harris Road. 

They have been part of the celebration for 20 years, passing on the blessings of the day to everyone on the parade route. 

They were setting up tables for free food and drinks and getting ready to serve 500 hot dogs to the community with the special addition of halal hot dogs for the growing Muslim community in Pitt Meadows, said Collin Peters, pastor of the church. 

A new Muslim resident, Ayesha Al-Ali moved to Pitt Meadows three years ago from Burnaby because of a friend. Although not fluent in English, she shared that her experience of living in the community has been pleasant. 

“I have four children and this is a very quiet and nice neighbourhood. My children are having fun and are happy so I am happy,” shared Ali-Ali. 

Adding to the celebration was a man and his cart of cotton candy. The cotton candy was sold out before he could reach the end of the road 

A thunderous drum sound started echoing and everyone had their eyes glued to the oncoming marching band which commenced the parade.

The parade commenced with a performance by the marching band of Pitt Meadows/Ayesha Ghaffar

The parade included a Royal Party of children dressed as the Royal Family of the UK, a Stardom Express with kids and adults dressed up in Halloween costumes and the Silver Diamond Country Dancers’ performance. 

A water fight was part of the Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue and Pitt Meadows Fire Department which got the children excited.

Among many participants in the parade, the one thing that was consistent was the positive environment and nobody forgot to have fun. 

Onlookers waved to their friends and family in the parade and council members distributed candy to the kids. 

Katzie First Nation shared a traditional song and drumming with the attendees at the parade.4/Ayesha Ghaffar

After the parade, the crowd moved to the Harris Road Park where the celebration continued with food trucks, local artisans and community organizations sharing what they were up to. 

The main stage was occupied by performers and the celebration officially began with Colleen Pierre, Katzie First Nation Elder’s welcome song. 

The day turned into an evening with salmon and chicken BBQ served by the fire department followed by fireworks that lit up the Pitt Meadows sky. 

Do you have photos from the Day? Send them to us at [email protected]

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