By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on December 8, 2017
IF YOU hear a distant whirring of sirens or a hum of Christmas carols floating up your street on Saturday night, perhaps check your front yard for a string of emergency service vehicles taking part in a unique, pageant-style event.
Operation Rudolf began in 2015 when ex-Queenslander and now Albany local Dales Whyte decided to introduce the emergency vehicle parade to Albany, after it had been successful in his home state for more than 20 years.
Operation Rudolf is comprised of Great Southern police, fire, ambulance and other emergency responder vehicles trailing after each other across town and stopping at specific points.
At these points, live entertainment from various local artists and schools will take place for the public to enjoy and get into the Christmas carol spirit.
Operation Rudolf is a charity event, of which Albany PCYC is the beneficiary.
Money tins will be travelling with the emergency services convoy to give people the opportunity to donate their loose change to the Albany PCYC.
South West PCYC area manager Terry Eaton said he is interested to see how this year’s event goes, with a couple of new stop points being added for the 2017 route.
“Operation Rudolf works really well,” he said.
“It’s good to get the emergency services on board.
“We are stopping at the new Centennial Stadium this year, so it will be interesting to see if the Spencer Park and surrounding residents come down to see it, as Lakeside and Bayonet Head were some of the more popular venues from last year.”
Operation Rudolf will begin at 4.10pm this Saturday at the Albany Boatshed carpark and travel up York Street, along Albany Highway and into the suburbs to entertain the residents of Orana and Lakeside on Lakeside Drive.
Each stop-off will last approximately 15 minutes.
The town footbridge would be a prime viewing location to witness the convoy take off.
Next on the list is the Centennial Stadium, with the vehicle trail aiming for a 5.05pm arrival time.
The convoy will then drive to Lange Park in Bayonet Head, arriving around 5.50pm.
Eyre Park on Garden Street in Middleton Beach will be the next viewing point for the vehicle parade, with an estimated arrival time of 6.25pm.
The lucky last venue on the list to wind up this year’s Operation Rudolf is the Albany Town Square on York Street.
The emergency services vehicles will travel the streets parallel to the CBD and arrive at the town square at approximately 6.50pm.
From here, all vehicles will park up for a public meet and greet.
“We encourage families to bring their kids down and have a look,” Mr Eaton added.
“Santa is always nearby for these types of events, so you may be able to spot him in one of the trucks.”