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Sussex ready to celebrate without Canada Day parade

Canada Day will look a little different in Sussex, N.B., this year, as officials cancelled the town's annual parade due to what they say is a lack of interest. But as Tim Roszell explains, members of the community are still ready to celebrate.

Canada Day will look a little different in Sussex this year after officials cancelled the town’s annual parade on the country’s birthday.

But residents seem ready to move on.

Carol Morrell said she’s ready with red and white flowers in planters, red and white lights strung along her deck, and, of course, a Canadian flag. She said she has never missed a Canada Day parade in Sussex since moving to the town 15 years ago, and knowing this year’s has been cancelled has been hard to hear.

“(The news) kind of broke my heart,” she said. “That’s a tradition, for me – 15 years – and my neighbours. That’s a tradition. We look forward to it.”

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A few blocks away, Carla Davenport was making sure her many Canadian flags around her yard were still standing. She was not aware of the cancellation.

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“I was very shocked, yes,” Davenport began. “Because I enjoy watching it. I just walk out my front door and walk to the end of the street and I watch it. It’s just, uh, it’s disappointing.”

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In announcing the cancellation Thursday, organizers said there was not enough interest in participating in the parade this year. Both Morrell and Davenport said it had gotten smaller and shorter in recent years.

Mayor Marc Thorne and Kings East MLA Bruce Northrup did not return messages for comment about the cancellation.

There is no shortage of patriotism on display at homes and businesses throughout the community. Preparations are underway at Burton Park, and other locations, for a Canada Day of songs, games, food and fireworks.

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Davenport said she’ll take part, but would like to see the parade return.

“Hopefully next year, because of the cancellation maybe it will stir some interest and people will take more of an interest and then, uh, you know, we’ll see a bigger parade next year,” she said.

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