By Colleen Hannigan, NTFFRA Parade Marshall
This year’s North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo parade was a great success with over 30 entries. Our brand new RCMP detachment Corporal Robert Welsman led the way, followed by a Royal Canadian Army Cadets Flag Party from Kamloops and the North Thompson. A broad representation from up and down the valley turned out in their best parade attire including our incoming 2017 and outgoing 2016 Ambassadors, Simpcw First Nation Chief Nathan Matthew, our MP Cathy McLeod, MLA Peter Milobar, Barriere Mayor Virginia Smith and Clearwater Deputy Mayor Ken Kjenstad. Since TNRD Area O Director, Bill Kershaw was committed to actually driving a float he was unable to join the rest of the dignitaries at the centre of the rodeo arena for the welcome speeches after the parade. Tom Jennings and Marc Ralko with their heavy horse teams very proudly showed off the 2017 and 2018 grand prize wagons for that division of the fall fair event. The parade’s $400 first prize for this year’s best overall heritage float went to Yellowhead 4-H, second ($250) to the North Thompson Communities Foundation, and the $150 third prize went to a family float entered by the Scheers. Special thanks to parade judges Ellen Monteith, Annette Stock, Lisa- Marie Morgan, Janna Hanson, Judy Banks and Lisa Carriou who handed out rosettes in 14 categories including commercial, group and club floats, antique cars, decorated cars, best costumes walking, individual and group best horse and rider, and best horses under harness. Barriere Search and Rescue and the Barriere Volunteer Fire Department took their usual place of honour bringing up the rear in case they ever had to leave and rush to an emergency. Thanks to Harry, Chris, Alexsis, Dani, Thierry, Ken B, Rick and Brian for traffic control. This year skies were clear and there was no need for mud-bogging in the rodeo arena.