Feature Story Sunday, June 7, 2015
Everyone Loves a Parade
Yarrow Days is ground zero for early June fun
Families pack Yarrow Central Saturday in anticipation of the annual Yarrow Days parade.
t’s been said that nowhere but in a small town do people know what you’re going to do even before you do it. So on Saturday, everyone knew they were going to be parked on a lawn chair somewhere on Yarrow Central for the annual Yarrow Days parade.
Yarrow is one of those exceedingly rare places where time seems to have stood still, offering glimpses to a storied past with the heritage buildings and down-to-earth people.
Yarrow Days is an annual celebration of small town living. The entire town is involved. One half is in it and the other half watches it. It's always kicked off with a free pancake breakfast at the Yarrow Canadian Reformed Church. After the parade, everyone schmoozes in Pioneer Park over a BBQ lunch and music. There’s games, arts and crafts booths, vendors, a playground and skate park.
But the parade was what everyone came for first Saturday. Parade first, park fun later.
A big red convertible inched down the parade route. Inside, was Yarrow celebrity Hank Giesbrecht, aka Hank the Barber. As parade marshal, it was a nice way to say goodbye and he was smothered in adoration all the way.
Yarrow loves him. His cheery smile and bright white barbershop were fixtures on Yarrow Central Rd. for six decades. Recently, Giesbrecht hung up the scissors.
It was also the 60th wedding anniversary for Giesbrecht and his wife Kay. So Carol Bell, Yarrow Volunteer Society, presented the couple with a congratulatory certificate from the federal government and showed the community’s appreciation for his years of service, with a lifetime achievement award.
"I've heard the word icon, I've heard the word legend, all applied to Hank. The Yarrow Volunteer Society and the Yarrow Business Development Association would like to honour him on his retirement and in recognition of Hanks long-standing dedication to the business in the community of Yarrow," said Bell who then presented with a plaque and a bouquet of flowers.
As she’s done in previous years, Lisa Witt opened the park ceremonies with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.
MLA John Martin spoke about what the event means to the community.
"I've always loved Yarrow Days and look forward to it. It's the epitome of local community coming together, putting in long hours, all the resources from the local community donated, and putting it together year after year. My hat’s off to all the people that made this weekend possible. We've got a spectacular day for it. This is one of the finest events to happen anywhere in the Fraser Valley," he said.
City Councillor Ken Popove was on hand representing City Hall. He acknowledged and appreciated the work it takes putting together an event like Yarrow Days which he learned about through his work with the Annual Christmas Parade in downtown Chilliwack.
"I want to give a round of applause to all the people that put this on. I know Carol (Bell) is one of them," he said. “On behalf of mayor and council, I am very pleased to be here," said Popove.
The park stage was emceed by local Jim Brenner and featured a young Mackenzie Jade, who some say is the next Carole King, a lively set from the talented Tractorgrease folks including local artist Gary Hagquist and the colourful Bhangra Dancers.
Money generated over the weekend at Yarrow Days goes toward maintenance costs of the Yarrow Community Hall.
In 2010, Yarrow Volunteer Society picked up the Betty Urquart Award for their devotion to the community.
For more information on what happens throughout the year, visit www.yarrowcommunity.com
Now, what you came for, your photos. Enjoy them as much as we all did being there.
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