A miniature firetruck driven by a member of the Al Shamal Shriners group tugs along a small procession of dolls during the Lacombe Days annual parade on July 23, 2016. (File photo by Cyril Brabant/Lacombe Express)

A miniature firetruck driven by a member of the Al Shamal Shriners group tugs along a small procession of dolls during the Lacombe Days annual parade on July 23, 2016. (File photo by Cyril Brabant/Lacombe Express)

Lacombe Days starts Thursday

A big four-day festival will take over Lacombe this week.

Lacombe Days runs from Thursday to Sunday in the city where there will be music, games, food and fun for the whole family.

A few new things will be part of the festival this year, which has been run by volunteer committees for at least 20 years.

For the first time there will be a Country Rising Stage at Michener Park, with free music from Steve Arsenault and other rising country stars from Alberta. The music starts at 7:30 p.m.

Later Friday night there will be a drive-in movie screening of Suicide Squad in the Lionel’s No Frills parking lot. The screening begins at 10:30 p.m., with tickets costing $10.

Another new event is Dr. Von Houligan’s Carnival of Calamities at Michener Park. The show has fire breathing, magic, juggling and more. Show times are 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The most popular event at Lacombe Days is the parade, event coordinator Rosanna Kerekes said. Organizers are honouring Canadian troops in this year’s parade, which is Saturday at 9:30 a.m., by bringing Lacombe’s Afghanistan memorial project, the LAVIII monument, through the route to Veteran’s Filed of Honour at the Fairview Cemetery.

“It’s a great year to have the military presence with it being Canada 150 … It means a lot to the people of Lacombe to have the memorial here.”

Lacombe has ties to the war in Afghanistan, as the city’s Master Cpl. Byron Greff lost his life while serving there in 2014.

The parade drew about 8,000 people last year, Kerekes said, with another couple thousand enjoying the rest of the weekend. The organizing committee hopes to see that number rise, she added.

“We’re always hoping to get bigger and better,” Kerekes said. “We’re working hard to cater to each demographic so it’s possible to have anyone come and enjoy something here.”

For a full list of events for the four-day festival and ticket information visit www.lacombedays.ca.

sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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