They arrived wearing wide-brimmed flowered hats or bow ties, or carrying ruffled parasols.
From 300 to 400 guests — mostly seniors — attended the Mayor’s Garden Party in Red Deer City Hall Park on a sunny Wednesday afternoon.
As the visitors relaxed under lawn umbrellas, they were waited on by city councillors, who brought around trays of cookies and glasses of lemon-aid as music by the local Kaylee Rose band drifted across the lawn.
Mayor Tara Veer said an annual Mayor’s Garden Party has been held since 1973 as a way of recognizing the older residents of the city for their many contributions and volunteerism.
“It’s a long-standing historic tradition that we have in the City of Red Deer… to honour seniors.”
The city kicked off June — which is Seniors’ Month in the city — with free seniors’ admissions at local recreation facilities. To cap off the month, Veer added, the Garden Party held for seniors “and really anybody else who wants to come to enjoy the gardens at City Hall Park.”
As in past decades, the 2018 garden party was a semi-formal affair.
Veer went the route of the British Royals by wearing a black net fascinator, fashionably perched on her head, and complemented by long strands of pearls.
Councillor Dianne Wyntjes came sporting a festooned hat that was nearly as wide as a doorway, while Coun. Ken Johnston went the extra mile and rented a black bowler hat, bow tie and satin vest from one of the local costume shops.
Many guests also came wearing hats for shade. The ones who didn’t might wish they had as they sat sweltering in the strong afternoon sun.
Cherrill Farwell called the Garden Party “very nice… It’s a beautiful day. You’re not always going to get a day like this…”
She noted everal previous Parties were washed out by rain or wind — including last year’s affair, which was moved to the Collicutt Centre.
Farwell and her friends, Lucill Morrison and Leona Mayhew, were happy to enjoy treats and live music outside in the garden on such a lovely day.