Celebrating Canada’s 150th in Red Deer

Events get underway on Saturday

Red Deerians will be showing their red and white pride as the City celebrates Canada’s big 150th Saturday.

Held by the Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society, the day will be filled with activities for all, organizers say.

“As we do every year, this is our 48th year producing the Canada Day celebrations. We have 10 international food booths, the outdoor stage will have entertainment from 11 in the morning till 11 in the evening, our fireworks will be just after 11 p.m. once it’s fully dark, and then this year we have a special children’s portion program that will run from 1 to 5 p.m.,” said Delores Coghill, manager of the Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society.

Included in the day’s festivities will be the Cambridge Puppets, a group from Edmonton who will be coming out to entertain. There will also be dancing, games, crafts and storytelling.

Coghill said although this year marks the country’s 150th, local celebrations will be similar to previous years. The only component different this year is the addition of a children’s portion with fun activities for kids, including games, a photo booth, podcast and more.

She said the day is all about celebrating our heritage and celebrating the many cultures that make up Canada, especially Red Deer.

She said the feedback from previous years has been really good, but it depends on the day it falls. “This year because it’s on a Saturday of a long weekend, I’m not sure how that will be, whether a lot of people will be taking off on holidays, or in some ways we may get more people coming here because it is a holiday weekend.”

This year’s evening performers include Los Morenos, Laren Steppler, Ruined Escape Plan and Dave McCann and the Firehearts. Fireworks will follow the performances to cap off the evening.

Over the years performers have included the likes of Blue Rodeo, K.D. Lang, Justin Blais and more to entertain those who come out to celebrate the country’s special day.

“Their Canada Day celebrations are such a success so they’re always just jam-packed and it’s just a wonderful day,” said Lorna Johnson, executive director at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery.

She said although all the Canada Day events aren’t happening on the one specific day, there have been some interesting 150 projects going on throughout the City either leading up to Canada Day or that are taking place afterwards.

“Re-Think Red Deer has been doing that Piper Creek Restoration Project and planting an orchard and a garden of native plants, and that’s just an amazing, beautiful project,” she said.

She said the museum too has been taking part in the festivities, having commissioned photographer Tim Van Horn to do a series of six murals to go on the outside of the museum’s building, using his ‘To Canada With Love’ mosaic project as the basis. That project will be unveiled on the August long weekend.

“So things are kind of paced throughout the year,” said Johnson.

Meanwhile, there will be no parking at Bower Ponds, Great Chief Park or surrounding area so citizens are asked to take advantage of the convenient Park & Ride at Sorensen Station downtown (4830 48th St.) Parking is free at the Sorensen Station parkade, nearby City lots and on street. Parkade opens at 10 a.m. and closes shortly after midnight.

Buses will leave Sorensen Station to Bower Ponds starting at 10:45 a.m. and every 15 minutes thereafter. Buses will go to and from Bower Ponds every 15 minutes until after the fireworks are complete.

If patrons have a bus pass, MyRide card or transfer, they are free to use them. Otherwise, the shuttle will only accepted cash. Bus fees are $1 for adults, 50 cents for seniors and students and children under the age of five are free of charge.

Information for this weekend can be found on the Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society web site at rdchs.com. Future Canada 150 events can be found on the Museum’s page at reddeermuseum.com.