Christmas parade to honour Nolin couple

by Phil Ambroziak

A dream shared by the late Genne and Teresa Nolin could soon become a reality held in memory of the prominent Rapid View area couple.

During the Nov. 13 meeting of Meadow Lake city council, unanimous support was given for an event that would see cowboys and cowgirls alike mount their horses and climb aboard their wagons in an effort to share some holiday spirit.

“We really wish we could do a Cowboy Christmas Parade in memory of Genne and Teresa,” 12-year-old Taylor Gammel told council.

Her sentiments were echoed by her younger brother Tyson, who also accompanied his parents to the meeting in an attempt to seek council’s permission to utilize a parade route for the event.

“We might only use a partial route depending on the weather,” Bruce Gammel explained. “It would start at the Meadow Lake Stockyards and cross the highway to River Avenue.”

Interim city manager Richard Levesque said it would be wise for organizers to speak with the RCMP about blocking the highway while the parade makes its way into the city.

“We plan to – we also hope they (police) will participate as parade marshals,” Gammel said. “It’s going to be an event for anyone who has a horse to take part in.”

The idea for a Cowboy Christmas Parade was originally brought to the city’s attention in the form of a letter written by Teresa Nolin Oct. 16. The letter explains how a group of local ranchers met in the fall with an idea to arrange the parade, proceeds from which (collected via entry fees and donations) would be given to the Salvation Army Empty Stocking Fund. The parade, which is scheduled for Dec. 1 at 1 p.m., would follow the traditional Stampede Parade route with the exception of entering the city from the stockyards.

However, Mrs. Nolin was unable to see her proposal reach fruition. She, along with her husband, Genne, died suddenly Oct. 29 in an incident at their home.

“This was something they were passionate about,” Gammel said. “They saw something similar in Battleford and thought it would work here. Now, we want to do it in memory of them.”

Gammel also said, if council were to give its approval, he could then begin meeting with other parties to work out some of the finer details pertaining to the event such as liability insurance and more.

While the younger Gammels said cowboy hats aren’t mandatory, their father did reiterate the actual length of the parade route could change on the day of the event depending on how cold it is outside.

“If it’s really cold, we may just end up doing a little something at the stockyards,” he said. “We are thinking about asking the Nolin boys if they are interested in putting their dad’s wagon into the parade, to sort of lead things off.”

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