Bert Thompson was the first Blackfalds torchbearer during Tuesday’s MNP Canada Games Torch Relay stop. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

WATCH: MNP Canada Games Torch Relay comes to Blackfalds

The 2019 Canada Winter Games feel closer than ever.

The MNP Canada Games Torch Relay has finally made its way to central Alberta, after a stop in Blackfalds Tuesday. Six people carried the torch around town, with the route starting and ending at the Abbey Centre.

Blackfalds Mayor Richard Poole, one of the torchbearers, said he was proud to carry the flame.

“I love to represent our community at anytime. We have the best community in Canada, but I might be a little biased.

“It’s an exciting day for the whole community,” he said. “We’re really hyped for Red Deer and the Games – it’s going to be exciting.”

The other torchbearers were Heather Buelow, Byron Hackett, Chris Overacker, Bert Thompson and Rachel Weppler.

Lyn Radford, Games board chair, said all six were deserving torchbearers.

“We’re mostly congratulating the torch relay runners because they’ve all … had some impact on the community they’re from,” she said.

Radford said it’s important to get Red Deer’s surrounding communities ready for the Games.

“As we get closer to Red Deer, we want to focus on our neighbours because they’re helping supply our volunteers and they’re supporting ticket sales,” she said.

The Games are a little more than two weeks away.

“It’s exciting, but there’s that little bit of panic setting in,” said Radford. “But we will be ready.”

Radford said there will be a community update on Friday.

“We’re hoping to share some information for the things that are coming and the things that have happened because of the Games,” she said.

The MNP Torch Relay will be in Olds on Jan. 31, Lacombe on Feb. 2, Sylvan Lake on Feb. 5, Ponoka on Feb. 7 and Red Deer on Feb. 15.

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