River of Light planned for centennial
On the last night in June, a parade of light will float down the Red Deer River, brightening up the Centennial Celebrations.
After the success of the River of Light on the Bow River in Calgary in 2010, Red Deer’s waterway will see at least 500 illuminated barrels travel through the city on June 30 in a similar way.
A website for Red Deer’s River of Light was launched last week, and an awareness and fundraising campaign has launched this week to coincide with Canada Water Week.
Shelia Bannerman, Red Deer 2013 Centennial committee chair, said part of it is a water education initiative.
“We want people to learn how we use water and how Red Deer actually misuses water, we use too much,” said Bannerman.
Bannerman said it is difficult to put into words how the hundreds of lighted canola barrels, using LED lights, will look as the flow down the river.
“It’s hard to describe why that ends up being so fabulous, but when you see them at night in the dark it is amazing,” said Bannerman.
“We did a little test float last summer after dark with just flashlights in them and even that was quite fun.”
The recycled canola barrels, which come from restaurants, used for the light show can be purchased through donations and those who donate can keep the barrel afterwards as they are also fully functional rainwater barrels, complete with taps.
As well as illuminating the river, the barrels will be colour co-ordinated, as close as possible, to the city’s centennial colours.
The barrels will be launched from Fort Normandeau after dark, about 10:30 to 10:45 p.m., and how long it will last will be dependent on the river’s water level.
The centennial committee would like to raise $50,000 through the website for the campaign.
There are numerous ways people can donate to the campaign through the website, riveroflight.org, ranging from a $10 special mention on the site to a $1,000 experience of joining the kayakers on the 10-km journey the light barrels take down the Red Deer River.