All of the festivities of Canada Day

Canada Day is always an important and festive event across the nation. The holiday not only marks the anniversary of Confederation; for many it is also the celebration of the start of summer.

The Dominion/Canada Day festivities have always been popular in Red Deer. The first were organized in 1891, a few months after the townsite of Red Deer was created on the new Calgary-Edmonton rail line. At that inaugural event, and for many decades afterwards, the main feature of the holiday was a community sports day.

Over time, the emphasis has shifted. The main athletics event, now held on the weekend before the Canada Day long weekend, is the annual Highland Games, which has been organized every year in Red Deer since 1947.

Since 1969, the main July 1 festivities in Red Deer have consisted of the Cultural Heritage Society’s annual Canada Day/Folk Festival event, which is held at the Cronquist House and Bower Ponds.

This year, however, the Canada Day long weekend will be particularly noteworthy as it will also feature the main community celebrations of Red Deer’s 100 anniversary of incorporation as a City. It is therefore interesting to reflect back to 1913 and the first Dominion Day celebrations held after Red Deer officially became a city.

In the lead-up to the holiday, there was an official competition for best window displays by the local businesses. Some of those displays were very elaborate.

For example, the Gaetz Cornett Drug and Book Store had all four of its front windows decorated. The first consisted of a display of cameras and accessories. The second had a moving set of model automobiles, horse-drawn rigs and busses, making their way to the Red Deer celebrations. The third window featured Sylvan Lake and included a tent, hammock, and camping gear as well as a model motor boat and dock. The fourth window displayed all the prizes for the Dominion Day sports events and parade.

The morning of July 1 literally started off with a bang. There was a trap-shooting competition with more than 60 entrants, from across Alberta and one from Spokane, Washington. That was followed by an elaborate parade, which started at the Central School grounds and made its way to the City Square next to City Hall.

There were patriotic addresses by Mayor F.W. Galbraith and other dignitaries. The assembled school children sang O Canada and the Maple Leaf Forever as the Canadian Ensign flag was raised. The Citizens’ Band provided a number of musical selections.

The crowd then moved to the fairgrounds where the sporting events were staged. These included regional soccer and baseball competitions. There were also a number of track and field events and several horse races. Special features were sporting contests and demonstrations by the 35 Central Alberta Horse of the local militia.

There was a thunder and hailstorm in the early evening, but fortunately it happened between the end of the sports competitions and the start of the evening program at the City Square.

The Citizens’ Band provided another concert. At nightfall, a large bonfire was lit. The festivities concluded with a rousing rendition of O Canada followed by a spectacular fireworks display. All who were present agreed that Red Deer had just celebrated one of the best Dominion Days ever.

For more information on the 2013 Canada Day long weekend celebrations, visit the Red Deer Centennial Committee web site at www.reddeer2013.ca

Just Posted

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer discusses thoughts on federal budget

New federal infrastructure funding likely coming to Red Deer

Alberta Election called for April 16th

Upcoming election will be about who is fit to be Premier, says Notley

Red Deer athletes qualify for Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru

The official Pan American Games will be held from July 26th to Aug. 11th

Local youngsters lend a helping hand to the Red Deer Hospital

First Steps and Beyond School students donate to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Red Deer RCMP arrest man during break and enter in progress

RCMP found two males in the parking garage attempting to steal a vehicle

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Calgary woman convicted in son’s strep death seeking full parole

The trial heard that Ryan was dead well before his mother called 911 to say he had stopped breathing

Dutch police question new suspect in deadly tram shooting

Police are looking for additional suspects in the shooting

Starbucks to test recyclable cups, redesign stores in B.C., U.S. cities

The company also said it plans to redesign its stores as it adapts to increasing mobile pick-up and delivery orders

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Here are five political leaders campaigning in Alberta’s spring election

Rachel Notley, Jason Kenney, Stephen Mandel, David Khan, and Derek Fildebrandt

UPDATE Leduc RCMP say sexual assault claim was false

UPDATE Leduc RCMP say investigation revealed sexual assault never took place

Most Read