Canada Day celebrations showcased at Bower Ponds

Canada Day in Red Deer will be back this year at the traditional celebration site of Bower Ponds, hosting vendors, entertainers and a booming fireworks display.

From 11 a.m. until after 11 p.m., citizens are encouraged to head down to the Ponds to enjoy various ethnic food vendors, dancers, drummers, singers, comedians and more. All ages are welcome; pets are not permitted.

“The opening ceremonies will be at 2 p.m. – we’ll have our mayor, MLAs Mary Anne Jablonski and Cal Dallas and Red Deer MP Earl Dreeshen all here.

“Then the president of the Cultural Heritage Society, Carroll Borg, will also be here with them to do some welcoming,” said Cultural Heritage Society Manager Delores Coghill.

The list of vendors at the ‘International Food Court’ includes dishes from nations such as Germany, France, Denmark, El Salvador, Ukraine, India and more. This year, the Cronquist House will also be providing fresh-baked pies.

Entertainment begins on the main stage at 11:30 a.m. and features various dance groups and styles; local musicians Randi Boulton and Bruce Jacobson, the Bull Skit comedy troupe, a choir, a Canadian acapella group and a drumming troupe.

Coghill says that, “This year will be a much more spectacular fireworks show,” than any previous year due to 18 businesses coming together to sponsor the event, ensuring a wow-factor for viewers.

“We’re going to say about 11 p.m. but (the firework technicians) like to make sure it is pitch dark. Hopefully by about 11 p.m. it will be,” said Coghill.

“The fireworks display will also be played to some music we will be broadcasting. It’ll be a bit longer than previous years and will definitely be more intense.”

This year, due to anticipated traffic and the construction on Taylor Dr. RCMP may consider closing Taylor Dr. between 45 St. and 60 St. completely, including the intersection of Kerry Wood Dr. and Taylor Dr. if necessary. This closure would occur after 10:30 p.m.

Coghill explains, saying, “The RCMP and I were very concerned about the traffic, especially at fireworks time. People swarm down here. It’s mainly just safety. We don’t want anybody to get hurt again.

“If it’s a beautiful day, and it looks like it’s going to be, then there will be lots of people around. We usually see at least 10,000 throughout the day down here.”

Transit services will remain in effect for Fairview.

In addition, two busses will depart from the Memorial Centre starting at 10:45 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. and four busses will depart from the same location after 10:30 p.m.

Shuttle busses departing Bower Ponds will be available from 10:45 a.m. until 6:45 p.m. as well.

A bike corral will also be put in place by the City as citizens are being encouraged to ride their bikes down to the celebrations this year.