While Cumberland’s truck parade is not happening this year, the popular Comox Valley Christmas Light Trucks will still be visiting local neighbourhoods.
The organizers confirmed it will happen, though on a smaller scale, as they have stepped back a bit this year for personal reasons.
Erin Kaetler and her husband Kevin run Strate Scapes Landscaping 2012 Ltd., and started the month-long convoy of truck around Valley communities to collect donations for the food bank. They also visited seniors’ homes or other locations where people might be confined.
She admits there is some confusion around their event with the Cumberland parade, though they have participated in it and other community parades before.
“We haven’t had anything to do with the organization of the truck parade itself,” she said. “What we have done is always separate from the parades themselves.”
Kaetler is not sure why the parade in Cumberland is not happening this year but thinks there might have been challenges around organization or communication.
“I don’t think anybody really knew that there was no Cumberland Truck Parade this year until really recently,” she says.
Council in Cumberland recently approved a street closure for a new light-up event downtown and confirmed there would be no truck parade this year, but there was no discussion or information in the Village staff report as to the reasons.
The Kaetlers started the Comox Valley Christmas Light Trucks convoy in 2013, but the event was stopped midway in 2017 when police issued a warning to drivers about the lights on vehicles, then last year the organizers worked out an agreement with the RCMP to resume the event.
“They were very supportive and involved in doing whatever they could to help us,” Kaetler said. “It was amazing. We had a great year.”
The couple did put a post on the event’s Facebook page that they have stepped away this year because of the recent loss of a loved one. There will still be at least one truck making the rounds this year.
“We’re hoping to pick it back up in full force next year,” Kaetler said.