By Anna Smith
Preparations are underway for their annual Candy Cane Run, which will see Santa Claus and Seven Persons Fire team up to spread the Christmas Spirit on December 17, starting at 5pm.
Typically, the event consists of the all of the Seven Persons fire apparatus, as well as citizen and even RCMP vehicles, getting decorated and going on a mission throughout the hamlet.
“We parade around every street in town, and we do knock on doors and deliver candy canes to each house. Just to spread Christmas cheer. And then in turn, we actually will accept any donations that people wish to give,” said Justin Derzaph, regional fire chief for Seven Persons. “It’s definitely not mandatory, but whether it’s food or cash or toys, we donate it to the Root Cellar for Christmas time.”
According to their records, this is at least the 34th Candy Cane Run, and by now, the event is a well-oiled machine, and they’re excited to make the event better than ever.
“This is probably my 13th year,” said Derzaph. “It’s just fantastic for people, all the people in town really look forward to it. We have Santa Claus, on top of the fire engine. And everybody gets to see him, and have a good time getting community involved a little bit.”
This year, Derzaph is pleased to note they’re expecting two RCMP visitors involved, which they’re excited for as part of their goal to make each Candy Cane Run a little bit bigger, and they hope to see visitors from the surrounding area to come and watch, as well.
“We have the Root Cellar coming out. And they have actually taken part in the parade route to where they bring their truck out and we put food directly into their truck,” said Derzaph. “We do have a little competition with ourselves every year just to try and see if we can beat our goal from what we collected last year. So it’s kind of fun.”
“I think we may even try and have a hayride this year for anybody that wants to join,” said Derzaph. While they had organized a Hay Ride in the past, the COVID-19 pandemic had shut that aspect down; however, with this year’s so-far mild December, it may be back on offer.
Donations are more than welcome from out of town guests, who are encouraged to park at the church or at Seven Persons School, where they will be easily spotted should they have something for the Root Celler, but Derzaph adds they can simply flag someone down if needed.
“Everybody is welcome. So even if you don’t feel you’re from Seven Persons, if you want to come from Bow Island or anywhere else, in any of the neighbouring counties, the more the merrier,” said Derzaph. “We’re happy to oblige and just have everybody join in.”