HP Santa Claus Parade founder dies

Anne Bankey

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

A High Prairie woman who realized her dream of bringing the Santa Claus Parade to High Prairie in 2005 passed away Jan. 21.

Anne Bankey, originally from Belleville, Ont. worked tirelessly toward her dream. The first parade was held in 2005; the past parade was the 14th annul event celebrated during High Prairie Light-Up.

It was Bankey in 2005 who first suggested the parade be held in conjunction with Light-Up.

“I just want to see if there is any interest,” said Bankey in 2005.

“It just doesn’t seem like Christmas without a Santa Claus Parade.”

The first parade was held Nov. 25, 2005. Since its inception, it has generally grown with entries depending each year on weather. The parade is held no matter how cold or snowy.

Sadly, Bankey’s health dictated she could not attend the 2018 parade held Nov. 30.

The Santa Claus Parade was not Bankey’s only passion. She also volunteered for many years with the High Prairie and District Food Bank.

Bankey is survived by: her common law partner, Ross Burgar; two children, daughter Patricia Young [Bankey], son Jason Bankey; survived by her sister, Elizabeth Brant and brother William Smith; two children-in-law, Micheal Burgar, Dustin Burgar; four grandchildren, Paidon Young, Breanne Young, Derek Cote, and Maggy Burgar; numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

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