The City of Vernon float

The City of Vernon float

Options floated for Vernon ’embarrassment’

Vernon looking at options to possibly replace the float that appears in the Vernon Winter Carnival parade and at out-of-town events

Vernon’s float is getting a rough ride.

City council has instructed staff to pursue options to possibly replace the float that appears in the Vernon Winter Carnival parade and at out-of-town events.

“The float is an embarrassment to the city and it needs a lot of work,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

Drivability is a concern for the float, which was constructed out of a 1981 Nissan frame and has a built-in engine and steering mechanism.

If the city is going to have a float, Lord says it should be on a flatdeck trailer pulled by a truck.

“We need a plan on what we do with it,” said Lord.

The float cost $35,000 to construct in 1991 and it was updated several years ago.

One of the outstanding issues is its primary focus.

“Is it a Winter Carnival float or a city float?” said Shirley Koenig, operation services director.

The float is designed for Queen Silver Star and the princesses but the city pays all costs associated with the float and it must find a driver, which has proven challenging.

Some councillors called for corporate sponsors to fund a float and not taxpayers, while others questioned the need for a float.

“I wish there was a more cost-effective, modern way to represent Vernon in parades,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

The float was used five times last year for Winter Carnival/Queen Silver Star functions.