Crowsnest council considered concept drawings for the new community float during its April 12 meeting, choosing to go with the cougar and Turtle Mountain options. Images courtesy of the Municipality of Crowsnest PassImages courtesy of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass

Original Published 13:27 May 04, 2022

By Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Parades have been a staple of human celebrations for millenia, initially used to celebrate military victories. 

Parade floats, on the other hand, aren’t quite as old. First used in medieval times, floats involved decorated wagons constructed by churches and trade guilds that would act as movable scenery for plays depicting biblical stories. The term “float” came into use in the 1700s after decorated barges were used on the Thames River in London as part of the Lord Mayor’s Show.

Crowsnest Pass council is upgrading the municipality’s connection to parade history by replacing the community’s parade float. Sixty thousand dollars was allocated as part of the 2022 budget for replacing the float. Studio Y Creations, a Calgary-based company, has been tasked with designing the new float.

Council reviewed different concept drawings of the new float during its April 12 meeting. 

The float sits on a 12-by-eight-foot trailer and features a brown bear and cutthroat trout on one side. In the centre, Studio Y recommended placing a replica of either Turtle Mountain or Crowsnest Mountain, with either a lynx or cougar taking up the other side alongside a tree.

Since Crowsnest Pass takes part in parades all over southern Alberta during the summer, the float is designed to withstand highway-speed winds, with the tree also able to be dismantled for travel.

CAO Patrick Thomas said the float should be able to participate in parades for a long time, especially since it will be stored indoors.

“Most people are changing these out yearly, so they are able to be relocated into a display or an office building or whatnot,” he said. “We anticipate that we’ll get several years out of ours,” he said.

Council opted to go with Turtle Mountain as the float’s centre, given the fact Crowsnest Mountain actually sits outside the municipality boundary. The cougar was selected as the accompanying mammal, though administration will check with Studio Y to see if a bighorn sheep could be placed there instead.

It’s hoped the float will be ready by the start of summer, though with recent supply chain issues linked to the pandemic it may take a little longer.

This item reprinted with permission from Shootin’ the Breeze, Pincher Creek, Alberta