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Everyone loves a parade

 By Craig Campbell, News Staff

This year’s version of the Dundas Cactus Festival Parade will celebrate television – a fitting tribute given the Valley Town’s popularity for film production.

More than 16 television shows and made-for-TV movies have been shot in Dundas since 2001, but participants in the 39th annual parade can choose to honour any TV show they want on Aug. 14 starting at 6:45 p.m.

“Should be lots of fun, guessing the shows,” said parade committee chair Donna Lavin.

Parade participants must register on-line before Friday, July 11 at www.dundascactusparade.com and volunteers are also needed to support the historic and free community event. But while the Cactus Festival Parade is free to attend and watch, it’s far from free to organize. Volunteers will be collecting toonie donations at the parade, and Lavin asks everyone to “tuck their toonie in their pocket before they leave home.”

In addition to fees associated with road closures, the parade pays more than $6,000 in policing costs every year.

And the many bands that participate also don’t come to the event for free.

“People don’t realize how important a toonie donation is,” Lavin said. “We have to pay in advance for entertainment, the bands in the parade. I need to get the message out, that’s what makes it a great parade.”

Lavin estimates that the 25,000 or so spectators who line the streets for the event should be able to contribute $50,000 just during the parade itself.

“But we don’t raise that, so the message isn’t getting out,” she said, pointing out the top performers and organizations that come to the Cactus Festival Parade can be expensive. “I’d challenge anyone to find two hours of entertainment at that level for two dollars.”

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