As guests to Red Deer, Malcolm Davis and Mariana Chatron were pulled over by the RCMP and offered a stay in Red Deer to take in some of the annual Westerner Days festivities as well as an assortment of prizes and experiences.
The ‘detained’ family was offered the stay yesterday as part of the Arrest-A-Guest promotion with Westerner Days and learned they would receive two nights accommodations as well as meals provided by an abundance of local businesses.
“I had no idea what was going on. We were stopped at Tim Hortons and the cop pulled up behind us with his lights on,” said Davis.
He said he was in the restaurant and saw the RCMP officer walk up to the car with Chatron and two of their children. “I was kind of freaking out.”
Davis and Chatron also have their three children, Richard, 11, Preston, 10, and Delilah, 7. The family comes to Red Deer from Sorrento, British Columbia.
Previous participating families of the Arrest-A-Guest event have come from as far as Christchurch, New Zealand and Yellowknife and last year’s guests were from Nova Scotia.
The family will partake in the Westerner Days kick-off parade as well as being offered the chance to take in many attractions and events at off-site facilities throughout the City.
“We’re looking forward to pretty much everything. It’s going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for us with the kids in the parade and going to the fair,” said Davis.
As the most popular annual tourism promotion for the Westerner Days Fair & Exposition, the Arrest-A-Guest event has garnered support from businesses in Red Deer that will provide the family with meals, western wear, hair cuts and styles, a vehicle rental, and much more.
RCMP Const. Tom Harnum has now been the officer for Arrest-A-Guest multiple times and said it is a lot of fun to take part in.
This year offered a new twist on the event taking the family to the Red Deer Regional Airport after their arrest.
Members of the RCMP along with Kent Olson, Westerner Park vice president, and John Harms, Westerner Park CEO and general manager, were present with the family at the Airport.
Erin Gobolos, marketing manager with Westerner Park, said they wanted to do something different this year and run the event in conjunction with the SkyHawks.
The SkyHawks are the Canadian Forces Parachute Team who will be doing the preshow for the pony chuckwagon championships at Westerner Days both tonight and tomorrow night (weather permitting).
“Now we’re going up with the skydiving plane here too. The kids have never been on a plane before so it’ll be interesting and they’ll remember this all for the rest of their lives,” said Davis.
The guest family was given the opportunity to go up in the air with the SkyHawks as they prepared for their tandem jumps with two contest winners from a previous promotion through Westerner Park.
Davis said his family has been here in Red Deer for a few days and have had the chance to take in some of the parks and the paddleboats at Bower Ponds during their summer vacation.
“It’s just a nice City overall. It’s a big city with a small city feel.”