For 50 years, the Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society has made sure Red Deerians can gather together to celebrate Canada Day.
Society manager Delores Coghill said participation always depends on the weather and the day of the week that July 1 lands on, but organizers anticipate 10,000 to 20,000 visitors to stop by during Monday’s festivities at Bower Ponds.
“When it falls during the long weekend, it’s iffy, because a lot of people go away. With this being on Monday, the end of the long weekend, I think we’ll get people later, when they get back home from camping or whatever,” said Coghill about the celebration.
Ten international food booths will start selling their cuisine at 11 a.m. and cultural dancers hit the stage at noon.
“They’re not the commercial food trucks at all. They’re all non-profits. This is how these groups make some money for the year. I really like to stress that.”
Daytime performances kick off with Irish dancers, followed by 15 more dance groups performing almost every half hour until about 6 p.m.
Opening ceremonies with local officials will be held at 2 p.m.
Evening performances start at 6 p.m. with Norman Foote, followed by Bard on Bower at 7:15, Big Voice Drummers at 8 p.m., Ten02 at 8:30, and XBand at 9:45.
Parents can pre-register their children for a free songwriting session with Foote, then watch them perform during his concert. Sign up is at the information booth in front of Cronquist House.
Activities wrap up with fireworks at 11 p.m.
Admission is free and no pets are allowed. Park n’ ride bus service is available at Sorenson Station, where parking is free.
Plenty more Canada Day celebrations will also be held around central Alberta.
In Blackfalds, people can join the fun at Tayles Water Spray Park from noon to 2 p.m.
Cupcakes and Canada Day swag will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Fireworks are set for 11 p.m. at All Star Park.
Penhold festivities run 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lincoln Street Rec Centre with a barbecue, face painting and games.
Canada’s Indigenous history will be celebrated at Ellis Bird Farm starting at 1 p.m., where Indigenous legends from central Alberta will be shared.
Sylvan Lake will offer a host of activities on Canada Day, including the Sylvan Lake Sailing Club Canada Day Charity Race, and a March of Canadians, led by a pipe band with everyone welcome to join in the procession.
Activities start at 10 a.m. and finish off with fireworks at the pier at about 11 p.m.
Ponoka will have a free barbecue, children’s activities and live entertainment at Lions Centennial Park from 2 to 6 p.m. and fireworks in the downtown at 11 p.m.
Lacombe festivities start with a free pancake breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by several events, including walking tours and a strawberry social at Michener House, wagon rides, barbecue and concert. Fireworks at Cranna Lake happen at dusk.
Family celebrations on July 1 at Rocky Mountain House will take place at Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site with helicopter rides, a car show and children’s entertainment. Fireworks are at 11:30 p.m.
Olds will host a Canada Day parade at 11 a.m., followed by family activities, toonie swim and 11 p.m. fireworks.
Innisfail will celebrate Canada Day weekend on Sunday at Centennial Park.
Highlights include a skydiving demonstration by Alberta Skydive Central (weather permitting) and a firework display at dusk.