The Cold Lake Santa Claus Parade will be the first parade to follow a new policy aimed at governing the content of parades.
The new policy aims to ensure that messaging is family-friendly and consistent with the event being celebrated.
Cold Lake’s mayor Craig Copeland says the purpose here is not to be heavy handed, but
council felt a tool was needed to ensure that family events are celebrated for what they are and that controversial messages are kept out of city parades.
“We had bylaws that required the parade route to be well-established in advance, and that
the appropriate safety precautions and city permits issued before hand, but we did not have a policy that stated what was allowed and what was off the table, when it came to
Following the new policy, participants cannot be discriminatory or incite hatred towards any group, portray a message that is unlawful, interfere with the safety or comfortable enjoyment of the community, be contrary to the policies of the City, damage the City’s reputation or display controversial content.
“We know that some of these guidelines are broad and open to interpretation, but we trust
that our staff have the best interests of the community and our community events at heart,” Copeland said. “This is a tool that can be used to make sure that the spirit of the event is adhered to and that community celebrations remain family-friendly events.”
Copeland says this helps correct a procedural deficiency and gives staff the ability to continue delivering an exceptional, family-friendly experience at the City’s parades.