It’s crunch time for Dorothy Soo-Weins.
She just finished putting the final touches on one of three entries she and her husband, Erwin Wiens, have in this year’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Christmas Tractor Parade.
“OK, now I can relax a bit,” said Soo-Weins, one of the event’s organizers.
That all changes tonight when the tractors – and some trucks and combines – will begin rolling at 6 p.m. for the parade, all lit up in Christmas lights.
It’s an event that has proven to be popular since its inception back in 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m excited,” Soo-Wiens said. “I have a feeling we’ll have more people (turn out) than last year.”
In total, there are 54 entries for this year’s parade, a long way from the 19 that were a part of the inaugural event. Last year, 39 farm vehicles took part in the parade.
The parade is a big hit with residents at Pleasant Manor, with many residents watching the festivities from their balconies.
There was some concern that ongoing construction work on an expansion of the Elden Street long-term care facility may prevent the parade from taking its normal route.
This matter was cleared up after Soo-Wiens had a conversation with Pleasant Manor’s project manager as well as its CEO, Tim Siemens.
“They made it possible to use the same route,” she said. “We’re so grateful for that.”
New this year is the addition of a division for vintage tractors. Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro has also entered a decorated truck that took part in last week’s Christmas parade.
As in past years, the parade will begin and end at the Centennial Arena in Virgil. Parade goers will see a long line of bedazzled tractors head west on Four Mile Creek Road before turning north on Pleasant Lane and then continuing along Eden Street.
The parade will then head east on Penner Street/Line 1 Road before turning south on Concession 4. The parade will continue along Concession 4 until it reaches Line 2 Road.
Heading south on Line 2, the parade will then turn westward at Four Mile Creek Road and return to the arena.
Residents are excited for the procession, too, Soo-Weins added.
“I’ve had so many emails,” she said.