The 23rd annual Santa Parade was held Saturday, and while the current pandemic forced changes upon the event, it proved as popular as ever.
With a need to ensure social distancing to protect the general public in the community having viewers packed along Broadway Street to watch the parade simply was not viable.
So parade organizers found out about the idea of a ‘reverse parade’ and they ran with it.
The floats stayed stationary, lined up through the Gallagher Centre parking lot and people wanting to enjoy the festive spirit portrayed by the floats drive by.
It was a two-hour crawl from Broadway to the float area for many of the viewers, which is testament to the interest in the parade from the residents of the city.
The parade was once again organized by the Yorkton Business Improvement District, and of course the floats that people lined up to enjoy were provided largely by local businesses.
The event illustrates once again the value of local bricks and mortar business. They are the ones that are ready to be part of the community beyond the transaction at the cash register. They are the ones supporting the purchase of hockey sweaters for youth, disc baskets for a local course expansion, and of course taking the time to create a float to bring some seasonal cheer even in a time of a worldwide pandemic.
So, at this time of year, the month many businesses do their best because it is the gift giving season, it is important to consider your purchases be locally sourced.
That does not mean one should not expect local businesses to compete for your hard-earned dollars. They should be able to provide better service than some cyber-store in an unknown locale, and they do need to reasonably close on price too, but as customers we need to give our local business a chance.
Of course COVID-19 has changed the consumer mindset too, and local businesses need to adapt.
There is health security in a purchase made online and delivered to your door.
But a local business can offer that same option, and given the pandemic, should be where possible. It is the new reality and business must always be ready to adapt and evolve to be successful.
But the benefits of buying local are real, from floats and sweaters to jobs and municipal taxes, all of which are important, and the cyber-options will never be doing any of those things in our city.
With the parade fresh in our minds it is something to think about as we go about our holiday shopping.