Celebrating the City’s milestone

As most Red Deerians likely know by now, 2013 marks the City’s centennial – and there will be lots of ways for residents to celebration throughout the entire year.

All kinds of events have been planned with all ages in mind. It’s also the perfect time for former residents of Red Deer to come back for a visit and see how the City has grown and changed over the years.

One of the year’s biggest events – the Homecoming Festival – is slated for June 29-30. Highlights include a pancake breakfast, a Centennial Grove dedication, an evening barbecue with entertainment from local band St. James’ Gate and an outdoor movie.

But perhaps the most anticipated highlight of the weekend is the River of Light event. The weekend wraps with the this event which launches from Fort Normandeau at 10:30 p.m.

A state-of-the-art light show, the River of Light features giant canola oil barrels lit up on the inside and configured in various arrangements to float down the river all the way to Three Mile Bend.

Rounding out the weekend of festivities is the annual Canada Day celebration at Bower Ponds which attracts thousands of revelers every year.

Planning such an event-packed year takes a lot of collaboration, dedication and a host of volunteers. The Centennial Steering Committee (CSC) was established in the fall of 2010.

The goal of the committee is to oversee the development of projects and events that will establish a sense of civic pride in Red Deer through commemorating the past, celebrating the present and that will also be instrumental in creating a vision for the future, officials say.

Some of the events are also tying into key community events that run in Red Deer each year. A ‘barn’ or street dance runs July 16 followed by the Westerner Days parade on July 17. Things continue right on into the autumn, with an old-fashioned fall fair at Fort Normandeau on Sept. 21.

Rounding out the year, a Fire and Ice Centennial Closing Ceremony and Lantern Parade runs at City Hall Park on Dec. 12. On Dec. 12, people are encouraged to bring all of these lanterns to City Hall Park to essentially light up the night.

It’s all been set up perfectly to engage the community and to bring Red Deerians together to celebrate this great City.

We often say how proud we are to live in Red Deer – what better way to show our support than to either get involved with the events or to take in the range of festivities.