Wasn’t That A Real Old Fashioned Hootenanny?

‘Twitchy’ Pydde, ‘Itchy fingers’ Peel, ‘Doc’ Sadoroszney, ‘Swigs’ Pyle and ‘Dead Eye’ Garrett, The Notorious "Council Gang".

On the evening of February 7th, 2014, the Wetaskiwin Drill Hall was set to host “How the West Was One,” one of the most unique regional events that has ever taken place in the JEDI region. The social mixer was tailored specifically for representatives of local business/industry, banking, municipalities and economic development service providers. “Pardners” in planning and hosting this one of a kind event were: Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI), Wetaskiwin & District Chamber of Commerce, Pigeon Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce and ATB Financial. Purpose of the event was to provide an informal venue in which to foster more networking and collaboration among economic development stakeholders in the JEDI region (City of Wetaskiwin, County of Wetaskiwin, Town of Millet). There were approximately 200 guests and volunteers in attendance. 
    In addition to all the planning undertaken by event organizers, the outcome would not have been nearly so successful without the help and generosity of a huge number of local volunteers and businesses. Sponsors of the gambling wheels; items on loan for the venue included covered wagon, horse equipment/tack, antiques and decorations; volunteer support included music/sound system, donations of fabulous draw prizes, products, materials and food items; help with pickups and deliveries; assistance with setting up before the event and clean up after the event; volunteer “Pit Bosses” for the gambling games, Lakedell 4-H Light Horse Club provided coat check and other services and many other generous gestures of support were received from the community at large. Following the event, Kathy Rooyakkers, Reeve of the County of Wetaskiwin stated, "The evening was very enjoyable and wonderful to see so many dressing up for the event. It was great opportunity to really show case and create enthusiasm in the JEDI region.” 
    It was obvious to guests in attendance at, “How the West Was One,” that a great deal of creativity and hard work had gone into creating the “Old West” venue. Dan Wizniuk, from ATB Financial said, “I was impressed with the whole event. It was well organized and got everyone together….I really had a great time”. Special features of the evening included: the characteristic and very rustic looking “Stockman’s Saloon”, a lonely cowboy sitting by the campfire serenading guests with old cowboy ballads, the bountiful and delicious ‘chuckwagon buffet”, the alluring “Wild Grass Photo Studio”, the congenial “Sheriff” and entertaining Master of Ceremonies as well as a very captivating musical performance by the “Saddle Sores”. For this special event, a customized gambling game, played with poker chips, was developed with the underlying principle that it takes all types of community/regional stakeholders working collaboratively for successful economic development to take place. “Raisin’ the Roof in Pardnerville” gambling games were lively, lots of fun and a great social mixer. Andrew Richards comments, “We had a fantastic time, the food was excellent, atmosphere and entertainment bang on. Trike Zone looks forward to the next JEDI event and we wish to thank all the organizers/volunteers for a job well done!” 
Early Bird Registration winners: 
- Town of Millet (voucher for $1,000 worth of consultation/training from Productivity Alberta). 
- Pipestone Flyer (gift certificates to attend the Mayfield Inn Dinner Theatre). 
Top two teams earning the highest points for “Raisin’ the Roof in Pardnerville” were: 
- Sharp Shooters. 
- Lonesome Longhorns. 
Old West theme costume winners: 
- Corporate Table: Town of Millet (10 family day passes for the new Manluk Aquatic Centre). 
- Couple: Casey and Kristy Stejskal (gift certificates to attend Popovitch Patio Dinner Theatre). 
- Man: Kevin Rowland (gift certificates from Supercare Lube & Wash Ltd. and Mike’s Western Wear). 
- Woman: Gabrielle Richards (gift certificates from Refresh Wellness Centre, Golden Ginger Fashions and the Clothing Store). 
- Diane Szumlas, Manager of Parkland Community Futures, summed up the event by saying, “The venue provided us with a terrific opportunity to network and make contact with some movers and shakers in the community - Everyone who attended from East Parkland relayed positive comments about the evening." 
    ­­Check out www.jedialberta.com for more photos and a list of sponsors/supporters of “How the West Was One” event. 

 

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