In the 74-year history of Pitt Meadows Day, one might think judging the parade entries has been honed into a fine art.
In part, it has, thanks to judging coordinator Pat McWhirter who was thrilled with the number of entries at this year’s event.
But the judging of 75 floats is no easy task, she said, dividing up this year’s responsibilities between TIMES publisher Ryan McAdams, TIMES’ editor Roxanne Hooper, as well as Michael Hayes, Shirley Leyenhorst, and Sandy Richardson.
“The judges never seem to get recognition for their contribution… they’re the unsung heroes in this,” McWhirter said.
Richardson, who’s a local librarian, has judged since 2007. She was impressed by the entertainment quality of this year’s parade.
“Every year, I thoroughly enjoy it. It’s a community thing. It’s nice to see all parts of the community come together,” she said. But she’s moved to see several generations of local families involved, from the young kids in dance groups or martial arts schools to the parents involved with business floats, and grandparents assisting with service clubs.
She attended her first Pitt Meadows Day parade in 1978, and said the quality doesn’t necessarily vary dramatically, but described this year’s parade as “highly entertaining.”
She was particularly impressed that mayor and council opted to walk the parade route, rather than ride in cars like royalty.
This year’s best overall float was Maple Ridge Alliance Church, which also scooped up the award for the best community float. Second place in the community category went to Church On The Rock, followed by Pitt Meadows Airport, the Salvation Army’s Caring Place, and the Shriners.
In the marching and band category, first prize was won by Air Cadets Squad 584, second place went to the Maple Ridge Concert Band, and third was won by Pride of Ulster flute band.
In the schools category, first prize went to Centre Stage, followed by second place to the Celestina Popa Gymnastics. Third place was won by Yuen’s Family Martial Arts.
In the antiques category, first place was given to the Vintage Car Club of Canada’s Golden Ears chapter, second prize was won by the Pitt Meadows Fire Rescue’s Engine 1-1, and third place went to a 1934 Ford truck.
In the animal/equestrian division, the top prize went to Ola Puppy Dog Grooming, while second place was given to Haney Horse 4-H, and third prize was given to RCMP Sgt. Dave Smith and his mount Justice.
And in the commercial category, the winning float was the Pitt Meadows Fire Rescue Q-1, while second place was won by Aggressive Pest Control, and third prize went to Keller Williams Elite Realty.