August 6th 2013
Centennial parade Vulcan’s largest ever
The Vulcan Advocate
Three Harvard trainer aircraft, the planes used during the Second World War to train pilots, flew over Vulcan in the lead up to the Town’s centennial parade on Saturday. The Harvards were brought in to pay tribute to Vulcan’s involvement in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.
In 1941, a contract had been awarded for the construction of a flying school just southwest of Vulcan. The structures and hangars of the base remain mostly intact today.
Any fears that bad weather would hamper Vulcan’s centennial parade lifted along with Saturday morning’s fog.
Lasting more than an hour — about double the length of the average annual Spock Days parade — the centennial parade was the longest Vulcan has ever seen.
It started off with a flyover of three Harvard trainer aircraft, the planes used during the Second World War to train pilots, which served to pay tribute to Vulcan’s involvement in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. In 1941, a contract had been awarded for the construction of a flying school just southwest of Vulcan. The structures and hangars of the base remain mostly intact today.
“It certainly got your attention!” said Hugh Johnston, who lives in Banff but was born and raised in Vulcan, about the flyover.
As for the parade itself, he said, “it was a lot bigger and better and more beautiful and boisterous” than the average parade.
“You could tell people poured their heart and soul into it (their parade floats),” said Johnston, adding there were many “hugely elaborate” family floats.
Couple Jim and Jan Ellice, who live on a farm north of Brant, also took in the parade.
“It was a great parade for a little town,” said Jim.
“For any town!” added Jan, who also enjoyed the Harvards’ flyover Centre Street in the lead up to the parade.
The couple came to help Vulcan celebrate its centennial with Jim’s sister, Glenda Bateman, who lives in Vulcan with her husband Russel.
There were almost 150 floats in Vulcan’s centennial parade.
Among them were old “Bumpy,” the emergency vehicle used on the air training base during the Second World War, a Lancaster turret that was brought over from the Nanton Bomber Command Museum, the North West Mounted Police musical ride from Fort Macleod, many vintage vehicles and tractors, no shortage of elaborate family floats, the Calgary Stampede float and the USS Vulcan.
Vulcan resident Rob Humeston, whose daughter Jenn Humeston rode a horse in the parade, said he “was actually surprised. I didn’t know they’d get such a turnout after Spock Days.”
There was definitely a good turnout in respects of the number of floats entered in the parade as well as the number of people to turn out for the event, said Humeston.
He added the weather was perfect — not too hot, not too cold.