Community comes together

It was never a doubt that the Red Deer community would come together and support the bid for the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

During last week’s Red Deer is Ready rally, the support and excitement was evident. Downtown was a sea of red as supporters wore that colour in support of the bid.

Thousands of people enjoyed the festivities which included the transformation of the downtown into a winter wonderland. All of the sports which compete in the Winter Games were showcased and some were even interactive for participants. Young and old could be seen enjoying those interactive displays.

There was also live entertainment on three different stages, bouncy castles for the kids, snowflakes and snowballs, among many other highlights. There were even Olympic athletes to help support Red Deer’s bid.

Special guests Ron and Cari MacLean were also on hand to support the cause as well as they were recently named as ‘honourary chairs’ to the Red Deer Bid Committee. They could be seen enjoying the crowd and signing autographs.

One of the highlights was also a flash mob, which included a number of participants and got the crowd revved up.

The Red Deer Bid Committee really outdid themselves in planning the rally and Red Deerians were certainly there to support.

Citizens were proud to be part of the momentous occasion.

It isn’t just the excitement of the actual Winter Games and sporting events potentially coming to the City, there are many economic benefits as well.

It will be an ideal chance for the City to update facilities and develop new ones.

It’s also tremendous for the economy and an opportunity for officials to show off the City and Central Alberta in general. Red Deer is a very welcoming community and there is no doubt visitors will be given top-notch treatment during their time here.

If awarded the Games, the City will see upwards of 3,400 athletes compete over the two-week event and see a projected economic impact of more than $132 million as well.

There are also government grants at play – the successful city will get $22 million minimum of funding from the province and the federal government to move those things forward.

It is truly clear after last week’s rally that Red Deerians want the 2019 Canada Winter Games. The support couldn’t shine through any brighter.

Now, all we can do is sit tight until the announcement of which community will be awarded the 2019 Canada Winter Games on Sept. 4th.