Celebrate Canada Day at Bower Ponds

Red Deerians will be heading down to Bower Ponds on Canada Day for a celebration jam-packed with music, food and family-oriented entertainment.

The colourful celebration, presented by the Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society, features all kinds of community song and dance troupes through the afternoon plus mainstage concerts through the evening.

Things kick off this year at 11 a.m. with the festivities running straight through until midnight. There is no admission charge – folks are asked to bring along a donation to the Red Deer Food Bank.

Also, visitors are reminded to walk, bike or take the ‘Park ‘n Ride’ service to Bower Ponds that day. The Park ‘n Ride service runs from the Memorial Centre parking lot every 15 minutes starting at 10:45 a.m. Those 18 and up pay $1 each way.

Youth (6-17) pay 50 cents each way. Children five and under can ride for free and seniors pay 50 cents each way.

Throughout the afternoon, several multicultural dance groups and musicians will be strutting their stuff on the mainstage.

Evening highlights include Ariane Marhyke-Lemire at 6:45 p.m.; The Jacobson Four at 7:45 p.m.; It’s Time at 8:45 p.m. and Fun in the Front Seat at 9:45 p.m.

Fireworks are set for 11:15 p.m.

The Canada Day celebration was first launched back in 1969 when the Red Deer International Folk Festival first formed. Since then, the event has continued to be a great success and a major attraction within the community, organizers say.

When the Society changed its name in 1996, they continued to host Canada Day. This event is currently produced by the volunteers of the Cultural Heritage Society.

Each year the celebration attracts a wide range of performers, ethnic foods, story telling, face painting and other activities for the thousands to enjoy.

Perhaps the most anticipated event is the fireworks display at the close of the day.

Involving more than 2,500 volunteer hours from the varying community groups that are also involved, the festivities usually attract thousands of people by the end of the day.

Over the years, performers as illustrious as local Celtic rockers St. James Gate, Barrage (formerly known as the GF Fiddlers), the Dino Martinis, Blue Rodeo, k.d. lang, David Thiaw, Kita-Na-Taiko, the Polissyanka Dancers and many more have been featured.

For more information about the event, call the Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society’s office at 403-346-0055.