© Paul Hutchings
Deer Lake Search and Rescue member Kerry McKay paints the front of the float to be entered by the search and rescue unit in the Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 Deer Lake Santa Claus Parade.
DEER LAKE — Members of the Deer Lake Search and Rescue unit say their entry into this weekend’s Santa Claus Parade in the town is being built to impress.
Volunteers have been building a train similar to the one driven by Tom Hanks' character in the Christmas movie “Polar Express.” It’s being built in two pieces — an engine and a passenger compartment and will contain the children of volunteers and search and rescue members all waving to spectators as the parade begins on Saturday evening.
This year’s parade will be a nighttime affair for the first time. That means the train will also be lit up with an on-board generator system. With Christmas lights all over it, Search and Rescue co-ordinator Darren Williams said people should know what it is from a distance.
“We talked about it, they came up with the idea for “Polar Express” and we all liked it, so we got to work about three or four weeks ago,” he said. “I think the kids will really like it.”
Volunteer Glenda Rice said the adults will like it too.
“Everyone loves a parade,” she said. “It’ll be a lot of fun, we’re all happy to be part of this.”
Volunteers were busy Thursday night in the Search and Rescue garage painting the train and cutting out pieces. The screech of a table saw made it difficult to talk at times, but everyone had smiles on their faces. The supplies came from Williams' hardware business and Williams said he was grateful to see how hard everyone was working.
He said being part of the parade was an easy decision to make.
“We get a lot of support from the town and we like to give that support back when we can,” he said. “Now we just need as many people to come out to the parade as we can get.”
The Deer Lake Santa Claus Parade starts at Elwood High Saturday at 5 p.m. Saturday. There is no word yet as to how many floats will be included and organizers say they might not really know for sure until Saturday. Participants are encouraged to show up at around 4:30 p.m.