The Thamesford Calithumpian is well-known in that community for its community-wide May long weekend celebration, but it has also organized the town’s Santa Clause parade for many years. The 2022 version will be held on Sunday, December 18.
Sheila Weir is a Special Events Coordinator with the group, which is now 103 years young, and says she is hoping more people in the area will come forward and take part in the parade. “We need the help of our community to put on an amazing event for the kids and families of Thamesford. Without people stepping up and entering floats whether it be a business, group of friends or families who enter, they are the ones who can make this event special. The last few years have been really hard on everyone, and this is a great opportunity to help put some smiles on peoples faces.” She adds entering a float is an amazing opportunity for local businesses. “Small or large, it helps get their name out there by helping out a community in Oxford County. There is no cost to enter, so its free advertising and you get to help brighten peoples lives by helping us put on an amazing parade. Its a win-win.”
Sheila says the event is a perfect way to enjoy the holiday season for all ages and has a real community feel. “I think the main thing is Santa of course for the little kids and the kids at heart, that and bringing the community together.” Sheila grew up in London and believes there is nothing like the feeling of a small-town community where the neighbours care and support each other. “Also watching the floats with their lights and Christmas music helps get people in the spirit of the holidays. I don’t know if you have ever been in a parade, but the smile on peoples faces and the waves that you get from the crowd make all the hard work worth it. I truly think that is the best part of being in the parade, getting to see firsthand the smiles are truly heartwarming.”
Much like other small-town service clubs, the Calithumpian needs new members to survive. Sheila says she decided to join this year because she realizes the importance of what it does for the community.
“This is my first year being on the Executive. When I heard that they needed people to step up and help or else Cali couldn’t continue it was a no brainer for me. I believe strongly in giving back and what better way than to help celebrate our village/community. This is my first parade that I’ve organized so my goal for this years is to just have fun and ensure that the community gets to enjoy it!”
Sheila, before starting her current job as Program Administrator at Arbour Glen Day Nursery in London, was a Family Services Coordinator at the Ronald McDonald House which will benefit from the parade. “We will be collecting non perishable items for the Ronald McDonald House in London. The Thamesford Lions and Thamesford Fire Department will be collecting along the route.”
To enter a float in the parade contact Shelia at 519-808-9171 and the email to use is firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on how to get involved with the Thamesford Calithumpian, go to their website at https://www.thamesfordcalithumpian.ca/volunteer/.