Time Traveller's Diary

Marilyn Merrikin, Community Time Traveller

A Great Time to be a Kid!

A photogaph of people gathering on a street with children seated on miniaturized parade floats and vehicles, a man in a beard is standing in the middle.
june 20 a great time to be a kid
Marilyn and her best friend Kelly dressed as Sir John A. MacDonald and his wife, Agnes MacDonald, late 1970s.

It was July 1st, a widely anticipated day by children and adults alike in our little town of Aurora; We were Canada’s birthday town and it was parade day! My best friend Kelly and I were (not so patiently) waiting with our Aurora Girl Guides group, along with about 30 other children brimming with excitement and eagerness, to take part in the annual Kids Costume & Bike Parade. We would assemble at the old Canadian Tire, or some years at the town park, for the judging of our bikes and costumes.


It did not matter who won as all the ribbons and buttons were the same, and besides we were far more excited for the real prize- a complimentary bag of popcorn and candy at the finish line. We would line up behind the Town Crier and Sparky the Police Car, who could forget that? Followed by the big red roaring fire trucks. For all us kids in the 70’s, it was our small moment in the spotlight together, a celebration of laughter and being a part of our close-knit community.


2015 parade legion
Aurora Legion Marching in Canada Day Parade, 2015

As the parade started, you could see the crowds who lined the streets grow larger, and the vendors with their overinflated balloons and cotton candy start to buzz. The cheers and excitement grew louder as the flags strolled by, held high by the men and women of the Aurora Legion Branch 385. Yonge Street was filled with marching bands, clowns, mascots, decorated fancy floats and parents wildly snapping pictures of anything in sight! Children began creeping closer to the edge of the curb, waving madly at passing floats in hope of snatching just a little more candy.

This was a great time to be a kid, the next best thing to the last day of school- This is when summer really began for us.


1 parade 4 winners
Children’s Bike Parade Winners, 2017

Parades have always been an important way of making communal bonds stronger and more visible, as it gives the town a sense of pride. I will forever be grateful for the wonderful memories that came with growing up in this once small town, which I have been lucky enough to share with my own children as they took part in the Canada 150, Aurora Kids Costume & Bike Parade.


Aurora, from one family to another, Happy Canada Day.


Originally published in The Auroran – June 27, 2019

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