By Jessica Nyznik, Peterborough Examiner
DOURO — The Douro Canada Day Parade will go on, thanks to two township residents. Heather Watson and Julie Chatten have stepped up and into the parade’s lead planning role. Douro resident Annette Dunford organized the event for the last 17 years, but was ready to pass the torch. After Dunford announced her news, Watson and Chatten chose to team up to keep the tradition alive.
Watson and her family live in Douro. She’s running for a seat on Douro-Dummer Township council in the Oct. 22 municipal election. Chatten also lives with her family in the township. She’s thrown her hat in the ring for a spot as trustee with the public school board.
When a fire destroyed P.G Towns and Sons General Store in Douro in February, community members lost a special gather place, Watson said. It’s spots like Towns store and traditions like the parade that provide Douro-Dummer residents with a sense of community and connection, Watson added. That’s why it was so important to Chatten and Watson to keep the parade alive.
“I really do believe that the traditions of the community are important – it’s what makes us a community. It’s what makes us strong as a community,” Watson said.
So it’s business as usual for the Douro Canada Day Parade this year.
Chatten and Watson plan to keep the same format, except they won’t be able to pull together the post-parade potluck on such short notice. If someone else wants to jump in on the food front, they’re more than welcome, Watson said.
The parade leaves from the corner of County Rd. 4 and 4th Line at 3 p.m. July 1. Participants should arrive at 2:30 p.m. Floats will travel along 4th Line to the village of Douro.
Watson met with Dunford on Thursday morning to go over a few details and collect paperwork. Dunford said she had “mixed emotions” when she handed over the reins. She still plans to help, though, to ensure things run smoothly for the new organizers. Although the handoff was bittersweet for Dunford, in the end, she’s happy to know her 17-year-old tradition will continue.
“It’s kind of a nice relief to know that somebody is going to carry it on.”
NOTE: To sign up for the parade or for more information, call Heather Watson at 705-930-8037 or Julie Chatten at 705-559-5296
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