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HomeNewsCouncillor Clyde Blackburn thanked with surprise parade

Councillor Clyde Blackburn thanked with surprise parade

Hundreds of Grande Prairie residents took their Saturday afternoon to thank City Councillor Clyde Blackburn for his efforts on council as well as his extensive volunteering in the community. The “Ride with Clyde” was a surprise drive-by parade led by fellow councillor Chris Thiessen after Blackburn announced his leukemia had returned earlier this month.

The drive-by celebration started out as an idea from Councillor Thiessen, but quickly gained traction over the last couple of weeks. For Thiessen, he says he wanted to show recognition for Blackburn’s contributions to the city as an elected official, and his with the Grande Prairie Live Theatre, the Grande Prairie Street Performers Festival, and ATCO Electric.

“Clyde has done so much for this community over the decades and so many people that he’s touched. I only needed to ask a few people for help and it got to the community really fast.”

“It’s not often we can honour people in this way, especially in today’s day and age,” Thiessen adds. “This was a way we thought we could go around and show how much he is truly loved and appreciated in this community for all he’s done.”

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Dozens of vehicles drove by Blackburn’s home decked out with thank you signs, balloons, and more. He says he was touched by everyone who took the time to come by.

“It sure was incredible to see. It didn’t even occur to me to count the people. I was just impressed with having them drive by and waving with their signs.”

“I got a kick out of the car that was pasted with all kinds of grammatical errors, that was kind of funny,” adds Blackburn, who is know for being a stickler for grammar. “I had no idea how Chris got everybody involved without me hearing.”

Blackburn was elected to Grande Prairie city council in 2017. In 2019, he took a leave of absence after his initial diagnosis with leukemia. He intends to carry on in his role as city councillor for as long as he can.

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