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Macleod to ask Lethbridge not to compete with parade

Fort Macleod will ask for co-operation for its biggest event of the year from its city neighbour.
Fort Macleod officials plan to ask the Lethbridge Exhibition not to hold its two-day Christmas celebration the same weekend as the Santa Claus Parade.
“We obviously can’t dictate to Lethbridge when they hold their event at Exhibition Park,” Town of Fort Macleod economic development officer Martin Ebel said. “I do feel it’s bad cricket to do it the same weekend we do it.”
The issue was raised Thursday at the Chamber of Commerce monthly meeting at the Rural Alberta Business Centre.
Thousands of people turned out to watch the 31st annual Santa Claus Parade on Nov. 24.
Unfortunately many left town right after the parade to head to Lethbridge for their Christmas kickoff.
Ebel said while it is not Lethbridge’s intention to compete with Fort Macleod, that’s what happened.
“It would be nice if they could give us that weekend where it could really be Fort Macleod’s thing,” Ebel said.
Ebel wants to go with Santa Claus Parade organizer Sue Risser to discuss the situation with the Lethbridge group.
They will politely point out to the Lethbridge group that Fort Macleod has held its Santa Claus Parade for 31 years, and the last Saturday in November is the traditional date.
Ebel said it would be helpful to Fort Macleod if it did not have to go head-to-head with a Lethbridge event.
“I’m hoping we can finesse that,” Ebel said.
Santa Claus Parade committee member Eileen Moses said Fort Macleod also has to look at new activities to keep people in town following the parade.
One new activity that went over well this year was the pancake and sausage breakfast hosted by the Calgary Stampede Centennial Committee.
“Having the Calgary Stampede people in was fantastic,” Chamber member Terry Daniel said.
The breakfast attracted more than 600 people to the lot at the corner of Third Avenue and Main Street.
Proceeds were split between the A-T Children’s Project, who volunteered at the breakfast, and the Santa Claus Parade committee. Each group received close to $500.
“One thing we could think about is trying to get them back,” Moses said.
Moses told Chamber members a sponsor for the breakfast would likely be needed.
Daniel recommended sending a letter of congratulations on behalf of the Chamber to the Santa Claus Parade committee for a job well done.
Ebel agreed.
“That committee — top to bottom — has done a really good job,” Ebel said.