It appears the May long weekend will produce hints of summer rather than remnants of winter.
Saturday’s forecast is sunny with a high of 20C. Sunday and Monday could bring a few showers with highs of around 15C and 16C.
Sunny skies will be welcomed at the many venues that are debuting this weekend.
Red Deer’s Public Market celebrates its 43rd year of operation under Dennis Moffat, now joined by son Patrick.
It opens at 8 a.m. and runs until 12:30 p.m. at its usual location in front of the curling rink and Red Deer Arena.
Bentley’s Farmers’ Market runs 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. the same day at the curling rink at 5218 50th St.
A number of other markets kick off on Friday.
Lacombe Farmers’ Market starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m. at Michener Park south of the Lacombe Golf Course.
Sylvan Lake’s first of the season goes at the corner of 49 Ave and 46 Street from 4 to 7:30 p.m.
For a complete list of all Alberta markets, go to http www.agric.gov.ab.ca and search “farmers’ markets.”
Out at the Markerville Creamery, they have a new interactive mini-barn to show off on opening day on Saturday, as well as some new exhibits at the museum.
A pancake breakfast kicks off the season at 9 a.m. and costs $4 per person. Children six and under are free.
Dickson Store Museum is also opening its doors and giving visitors a glimpse of the past. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sundays.
The weekend is shaping to be reasonably good camping weather.
For the most up-to-date information on provincial campgrounds, go to www.AlbertaParks.ca. There campers can find out about liquor and fire bans.
Fire bans are in place at Buffalo Lake and Gleniffer Lake public recreation areas and at provincial parks at Jarvis Bay, Rochon Sands and Red Lodge.
Provincial officials are reviewing the weather situation and plan to release an update on fire bans today.
For last minute planners, there are still some campsites available for the May long weekend through Reserve.AlbertaParks.ca, or by calling 1-877-537-2757.
Brendan Cox, Alberta Justice and Solicitor General spokesman, said Fish and Wildlife and conservation officers, along with parks service rangers, RCMP and other enforcement agencies, will be out doing compliance checks and keeping an eye out for random camping and illegal off-highway vehicle use in the West Country.
ATV riders are reminded to keep to the trails and stay out of streams. Mufflers and spark arresters are also required on quads and similar vehicles, which is especially important given the current dry conditions.
Commercial vehicle inspectors will be given extra powers to check out other vehicles and RVs for the May long weekend to help with the enforcement effort.
On Monday, Ellis Bird Farm near Lacombe opens for the season at 11 a.m. One of the day’s highlights will be the premiere of Living with Beavers, a short documentary on the bird farm’s resident beavers Ward and June.
A screening of a Travel Alberta Alberta Stories that features a segment on the bird farm will also be shown.
There will also be Tea House specials, a gift shop sale and lots of activities for the children.
For a complete list of events opening this weekend, visit travelalberta.com or tourismreddeer.com.