Get out and see region with the Country Drive

Popular summer Central Alberta tourist event kicks off this weekend

This weekend is an opportunity for Central Albertans to get out and see the sights in and around their communities.

Elna Edgar, one of the organizers and participants in Country Drive, said the idea behind the event is to promote local tourism in the area.

“What got it going was actually Alberta Agriculture’s initiative back in 2004. Several ideas came up and one was the Country Drive,” said Edgar.

Many local tourist sites got together and decided to promote each other with the drive.

“It makes it more appealing for customers if they can find more than one thing to do when they drive out into an area.”

Edgar said the event is important because many people are unaware what attractions lie right in their back yard. “People don’t have to be driving 500 miles to find some really cool and interesting stuff to do. There is a lot right here and this event keeps the money local.”

Edgar runs an asparagus farm and said many people don’t know much about it.

“Asparagus is not something that’s normally grown in the area so when people come here we educate them about the unique things we’re doing.”

She said at the asparagus farms they will have a petting zoo as well as a booth set up to teach kids about agriculture.

“The booth will also teach kids what some of the products in the grocery store contain. It’s all about teaching them now because they’re tomorrow’s consumers.”

Other participants in the Country Drive include museums, wildlife centres, farms and greenhouses.

“Some of the sites have an emphasis on history and showing people that this country didn’t just start like it is. There is a history to everything we do and we need to preserve that history and the knowledge of how things came to be.”

One of the included sites is Ellis Bird Farm which Edgar said is an especially fun place to visit. “It’s an amazing experience there and it’s all about nature and wildlife. It’s the same with the Medicine River Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. These places are all about what is here in this place we call home.”

Some of the participants will be charging admission for the extra events they are running for the weekend but some are completely free as well. Edgar said to simply phone around and find out what might suit your family and the kinds of things you would like to get out and see.

The Country Drive has been running since 2005 and Edgar said it is entirely weather dependant whether or not people take part, but she said even still the numbers are growing and that many people take part from year to year.

“We’ve added new sites this year and every year. You can’t get out and see everything in one day so maybe this year you visit four or five sites and plan to visit four or five more next year.”

This year’s Spring Showcase Country Drive weekend event runs June 2-3.

“There are definitely more and more people hearing about it and taking part. It’s not Disneyworld but there is a lot of interesting stuff to see that people maybe never knew about.”

For more information, visit www.countrydrive.ca.

kpalardy@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

UPDATED: Red Deer will officially be the home of the Canadian Finals Rodeo

CFR has potential to bring in an economic impact of $20-30 million

WATCH: Innisfail’s Berkley the bear celebrates first birthday

Discovery Wildlife Park’s newest Kodiak is excited for life this winter

Tyler Steenbergen etches his name into Canadian hockey history

Sylvan Lake native scores huge tournament-winner at World Juniors

City council supports $25,000 for Downtown Community Development Committee

Funding supports stakeholders in developing programs enhancing downtown safety

Red Deer’s Gord Bontje gives $500,000 to A Better World

Co-owner of Laebon Homes gives the gift to celebrate 60th birthday

WATCH: Red Deer Entertainment Awards honours Red Deer’s burgeoning talent

The awards looks to become more inclusive of the entire entertainment scene in year three

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Most Read