Marking the kickoff to one of the city’s most anticipated summer events, hundreds of residents found themselves street-side on Tuesday morning for the annual Whoop-Up Days parade as it stormed the streets of Lethbridge.
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Besides the regular routine, this year’s parade saw a special sight; a sea of green, as parade marshals Toby and Bernie Boulet walked through the streets to raise awareness of a charity (The Logan Boulet Fund) inspired by their son Logan Boulet, whose last gift to the world was his organs.
Logan’s organs were donated after he became a casualty in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in April 2018. The tragedy, and Logan’s decision to donate his organs, prompted a surge of people to register to be donors as well.
The colour green has been associated both with the Broncos and Green Shirt Day, an initiative aimed at raising awareness about organ donation.
During their time marshaling Tuesday’s parade, the Boulets hoped to keep the conversation of organ donating alive, a notion one parade attendee was glad to embrace.
“We’re here to support organ donation,” said Sheighla McClung, a spectator and supporter at the parade.
“And to get the word out that organ donation is awesome and saves lives.”
Many spectators donned green shirts of their own as the parade passed through the streets. They expressed excitement about this year’s event, which featured more than 100 float entries.
“There’s tons of green shirts — if you look, everyone’s wearing it,” McClung said.
“Everyone is coming out and supporting the Boulets, it’s been really great.”
However, it wasn’t only the crowd that was excited about the event. Those participating in it were excited as well.
“We’re having a great time at the parade today,” said Martina Emard, a member of the Lethbridge Roller Derby, who rolled on by as the crowd cheered.
The parade is just the start of the week’s festivities.
Exhibition Park is home to the rest of Whoop-Up Days’ activities until Saturday.