Play makers: Get your craft on

Hockey players can craft, too.

That is the message from Arlin McFarlane, artistic director for Yukon Educational Theatre’s Inzanity Wing, the backbone behind this year’s new Santa Parade “Winterval”.

McFarlane is calling on hockey players and all members of the community to come down before Dec. 3 to the Old Fire Hall, in Whitehorse (before the parade) to help create a banner.

Then, on Saturday, Dec. 5, your creation will be carried by your group or team during “Winterval”, McFarlane’s latest production. She has a reputation for passion pageantry in the territory.

“Our goal is to get lots of people representing themselves with fun and funky pageantry in the parade,” explains McFarlane, who also organizes the Burning Away the Winter Blues pageantry-type event, in addition to a harvest annual event.

“I guess I imagine it to be about representing one’s self in a fun way.”

It was two years ago that McFarlane was first approached to take over the helm for the Santa Parade in Whitehorse – a request she admits she was cautious about taking on.

“It was the saddest parade I had ever seen,” reflects McFarlane. “I thought I better do something to this parade or not do it at all.”

She took it on.

And the result was a hugely successful 2008 parade with close to 1,000 people attending.

This year, McFarlane has even loftier goals and, to entice more participants, she has not only introduced the banner aspect but has also signed on a DJ, Reid A. Parent, who will be spinning tunes outside the Elijah Smith Building.

“We’re all going to be dancing in our parkas,” ensures McFarlane. The long-time Yukoner says her ultimate goal with the Santa Parade is to get as much of the territory involved in the parade as possible.

“I’m passionate about bringing community together in celebratory ways, and if I can create an event that will focus that energy, I think that is great, says McFarlane. “I want a parade where there are no spectators; the spectators are the parade and everyone is involved and having a good time.”

The parade organizer says ideally she would have a specific colour assigned to each community participant in the parade.

“Wouldn’t it be fun if Faro was there and they were blue; and Carmacks was there and they had green; and Ross River was there and they were purple,” describes McFarlane with excitement. “People would be able to look and say, ‘Hey … there are 14 people from Faro here and five from Ross River’.”

As for the hockey players taking on the craft aspect … ?

“We always get young hockey players out and they think it’s pretty fantastic to be in the Santa Parade!”

The Winterval Santa Parade is Dec. 5 at 11 a.m. in front of the White Pass Station.

The banner-making runs at the Old Fire Hall Dec. 3 from 1 to 9 p.m., and all the goods, including sewing machines, are provided.

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