The band played on when the Titanic sank; but in Ladysmith’s case, the celebration parade continued, even though a band never showed up.
Organizers of the Ladysmith Days Parade said that they were happy with how it turned out, even though a determined search for a marching band didn’t muster any musicians. Kinsmen Mike Sumpter, parade co-chair, said, “We did try and get at least one band, but being a long weekend, especially in the summer, makes it tough.”
Kinsmen approached the Pender island Pipe band, even offering to pay ferry costs. They also tried the Mount Arrowsmith Pipes and Drums and the Cowichan Legion Pipe Band, but got no takers.
Sumpter said next year the Kinsmen will approach a school band.
But band or no, the Kinsmen felt that parade notched things up from last year.
“There were over 34 entries and, considering the amount of time folks spend in the heat, it’s actually quite a good parade,” Co-chair Duck Paterson said. “We even went up to Qualicum to hand out our entries in their Canada Day Parade, and they had 11 entries, which included their emergency vehicles.”
Like so many of the Ladysmith Days activities, the parade is really about community spirit.
Said Paterson, “The amount of time and expense some of the local groups put into their entries, so others can have a good time, is very gratifying, and shows how much folks care about the community having fun.”
“This year the judges had to take more time,” Sumpter added. “It’s a tough job, and actually every entry deserves some recognition. The bottom line is everybody having a good time.”
Winners of ribbons included:
Marching/Dancing Unit – Second place, Ladysmith Seniors Association; First place, Rhythm Dance participants.
Musical Group – Cowichan Shriners Moroccan Band.
Float – Third place, Ladysmith Eagles; Second place, A&W Restaurant; First place, Ladysmith Fire/Rescue.
Commercial – Third place, Fox and Hounds Pub; Second place, 49th Parallel Grocery; First place A&W Restaurant.
Comic Entry – Third place, Green Party; Second place, Ladysmith Fire/Rescue; First place, Ladysmith Seniors Association.
Decorated Bike – First place, Green Party.
Children’s (theme) Costume – Third place, Fuller Lake Skating Club; Second place, St. Joseph’s School; First place, Rhythm Dance Studio.
Adult (Theme) Costume – Third place, Ladysmith Celebrations Society; Second place, Cowichan Water Conservation; First place, Festival of Lights Santa.
Animal Entry – Second place, Island Savings Credit Union; First place, Island Farms Dairy.
“Neatest” Antique Vehicle – Third place, Cowichan Shriners fire truck; Second place, Ladysmith Eagles green ford pickup; First place the British Car Club.
Best Theme Entry – Third place, Ladysmith Celebrations Society; Second place, Island Savings Credit Union; First place, Mount Brenton Power Squadron.
“Kinsmen really get a kick out of putting on the parade and we hope that everybody had a great time,” Sumpter said. “The parade is a kick off to a super weekend, put on by volunteers, and everybody’s efforts are greatly appreciated.”