Event give people a chance to look at Red Deer’s heritage

Want to get an insider’s look at Red Deer’s famous “Green Onion” or a behind-the-scenes look at what happens at a water treatment plant? The City of Red Deer is opening the doors to places that most people have never gone before in its first Doors Open event on Sept. 27.

Want to get an insider’s look at Red Deer’s famous “Green Onion” or a behind-the-scenes look at what happens at a water treatment plant?

The City of Red Deer is opening the doors to places that most people have never gone before in its first Doors Open event on Sept. 27.

The event celebrates the history, architecture and culture city by showcasing 12 buildings and heritage sites that are typically not open to the public. Admission is free.

Janet Pennington, the city’s heritage community development co-ordinator, said organizers tried to pick sites that would appeal to variety of people in the community.

“It could be a building in the community that has heritage or architectural significance,” she said. “Ideally, we would have a mix of heritage homes.”

This inaugural event will not feature any heritage homes. Pennington said a couple home owners have already confirmed their participation in next year’s event.

The Horton Spheroid water tower, also known as the Green Onion, that overlooks the downtown may be a popular stop on the tour.

Pennington said people can go in but cannot climb up the tower.

Residents will also get a look at the old and new water treatment plant. A one-time-only tour of the old plant will be held at 3 p.m.

Every half hour, the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery will give a behind-the-scenes look at its collection. The Red Deer Archives will also be open.

People will be able to walk through Cronquist House, including the top floor.

Others sites participating in the event include Sunnybrook Farm, Red Deer Firestation 1 and Fort Normandeau. Two buildings will be open on Heritage Square: the Norwegian Laft Hus and the Crossing School replica. There will be demonstrations of traditional Norwegian crafts.

A booth will be set up outside each site with information about the tour and venues.

Similar events are held all over the world. The first was held in Glasgow, Scotland in 1990. Toronto was the first Canadian city to host the event in 2000.

Red Deer’s event is from noon to 4 p.m. Roughly 35 volunteers are needed for the event. Pennington said volunteers are needed to man the information booths, answer questions and handle other duties.

For more information, visit www.reddeer.ca. To volunteer, contact Pennington at 403-309-6270.