While Campbell River’s Big Truck Parade has avoided cancellation in every year since 2009 — including through the COVID pandemic — Mother Nature and the large snowfall the city experienced last week finally, for the first time, put the Dec. 2 parade on ice.
That spelled disappointment for Jessica Colado and her two young sons, six-year-old Cade and his brother four-year-old Koen.
“We always plan to go every year,” said Colado, a dog groomer who has called Campbell River home for the past seven years.”This year, with the boys a little older…we were planning to go see Santa and walk around to see the Christmas lights. Stay out a little later than we usually do.”
The parade’s cancellation also left her boys confused.
“My oldest son kept asking ‘Mommy, how come they can’t do it another day?’” said Colado. “I didn’t know what to tell him.”
But with the impending cancellation looming, some trucks were still decked out in lights with nowhere to go — which prompted Finning driver Shawn Spain into action.
“I heard about the cancellation at 2:30 p.m. Friday from a co-worker,” said Spain. “I was finished at 3:30. I had heard so much of the community wanting the parade to happen, I decided a few laps wouldn’t hurt.”
Spain drove his Christmas-themed truck around neighbourhoods, prompting attention on social media. Onlookers shoveling heaps of snow stopped to wave, as the festive themed truck, decked out with a giant Santa Claus on in the back drove around local neighbourhoods.
“I had so much fun,” said Spain. “I could hear the kids playing in the snow, cheering me on.”
Shawn went home after a few hours. But on Sunday, Dec. 4, prompted by the positive response, Shawn took wife Candice and his family for another tour of town. Having received a request to go by homes on social media, the family stopped at 14 homes, including Colado’s.
“We received the request on Facebook,” said wife Candice. “We went by Jessica’s house and of course met her wonderful boys.”
Colado is filled with gratitude that someone went the extra mile to bring a smile to her boys.
“Things like this, it shows what kind of community this is,” said Colado. “For people to go above and beyond to make my boys happy. It’s beyond incredible. It warms my heart and I’m so grateful.”
However, she also has to remind her sons that this type of thing only happens once a year.
“They want it to drive by every night,” says Colado with a laugh. “They keep asking when it’s coming back.”