Canada 150 plans flourishing in Wetaskiwin

The City of Wetaskiwin is inviting anyone and everyone to come and celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with the community...

City of Wetaskiwin

The City of Wetaskiwin is inviting anyone and everyone to come and celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday with the community with a growing number of events being planned.

Manager of community development Jennifer Fossen says the committee in charge of the city’s Canada Day is looking to ensure a day jam-packed with a variety of events. “Our committee is dedicated to pulling off a great event.”

The day kicks off with a well known celebratory staple: the pancake breakfast, which will be held at the Royal Canadian Legion Wetaskiwin Branch #86.

“And we will be having a Canada Day parade this year,” said Fossen. “Our goal is to get 150 floats,” she added.

Due to Phase 3 of the city’s Main Street Revitalization project and the location of the downtown market the parade route has been altered from what has been used in the past.

“Because of that we’re going down 49th Avenue from 53rd Street to 50th Street,” said Michelle Chunyua, communications and events co-ordinator. Upon reaching 50th Street the parade will cut north to 50 Avenue and continue east across the train tracks to end at the city’s recreation grounds.

Parade application can be found at city hall, the Visitor Information Centre across from the water tower and on the city’s website.

The parade is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Following at 2 p.m. is the annual Canada Day ceremony, to be held at city hall. In past years the ceremony has taken place at the Wetaskiwin Royal Canadian Legion Branch #86, but with the parade ending at the recreation grounds city hall was identified as an easily accessible location.

“The Legion is fully supportive of the ceremony being at city hall. It was their idea,” said Fossen. She added it is important to the city to maintain a positive relationship with the Legion.

Canada 150 in Wetaskiwin also boasts cake and a scavenger hunt at the Wetaskiwin and District Heritage Museum and a downtown market. The city is encouraging cultural booths for the market, and there will be room for cultural food, activities and dancing.

SPLASH Wetaskiwin will also take place on Canada Day. “Again we’ll have the 50,000 water balloons,” said Fossen. The event will be held from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the recreation grounds.

Once evening falls more events will be held at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum including live entertainment River Jacks and fireworks after sunset.

The Edmonton International Raceway is holding a 150 Lap event, commencing at 5:30 p.m.

“Come out for socializing and just a really fun evening,” said Fossen. “There’s literally something for everybody,” she added.

Fossen says most of the events offered on Canada Day will be free, and those with a cost will be a minimal amount to keep the day’s festivities inclusive to all.

Leading up to Canada Day the City of Wetaskiwin is holding its Colour My City campaign. Businesses and residences wanting to be involved are encouraged to decorate in Canada’s red and white glory, “just really ‘Canada up’ the City of Wetaskiwin,” said Fossen.

Kicking off the celebratory atmosphere and Canada 150 is an outdoor viewing of the movie The Great Outdoors. It follows the Wetaskiwin Arts and Music Festival on June 24. The movie starts at 10 p.m. at the recreation grounds. “It’s a PG movie. We chose family friendly Canadian actors,” said Fossen.

One food truck will be on site at the movie, and Fossen says community groups can partake to provide popcorn and concession foods with the opportunity to use the event as a fundraiser.

Volunteers and sponsorships will play an instrumental role in the city’s Canada 150 celebrations.

Fossen says anyone willing to volunteer whatever amount of time they can commit will be welcomed, and sponsorship packages are customizable.

The committee continues to focus its efforts on more events and the schedule for the day is subject to change. To stay up-to-date on all of the festivities planned for the day visit www.wetaskiwin.ca or contact Michelle Chunyua at 780-361-4417.