Get ready to break out the community spirit on Friday to celebrate Red Deer is Ready Day!
Friday is when the Canada Games Evaluation Committee tours Red Deer to gauge community engagement and involvement for the games, an important requirement to host the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
Residents are invited to downtown Ross Street for the Red Deer is Ready Rally on Friday.
The all-ages event will be packed full of fun, with 20 interactive sports activities and displays, 25 bouncy castles, live entertainment, an LED Jumbotron, a variety of food options, and arts and culture activities.
City Hall Park will also be transformed into a winter wonderland.
The rally runs from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.
The Advocate is producing a rally guide with all the details, to be distributed along with Thursday’s newspaper.
If rain is forecast, the rally will be moved to Westerner Park’s Parkland and Prairie pavilions. A decision will be made on Thursday morning regarding the location.
Mayor Tara Veer said Friday is a critical day.
“The city can’t show community spirit on our own, and the games committee can’t. It is absolutely essential that Red Deerians who support the bid mobilize around this cause,” said Veer at City Hall on Monday when she proclaimed Friday as Red Deer is Ready Day.
“We’re encouraging all Red Deerians to wear red, to wear a Red Deer is Ready button, and to come to the community festival to order to demonstrate to the bid committee that Red Deer is indeed more than ready to host the 2019 Games. And not only are we ready to host it, we’re ready to do an exceptional job of it and to showcase our Red Deer to the rest of the country.”
Red Deer is competing against Lethbridge to host the games, to be held in February 2019.
“We are honoured to be the potential home for the 2019 Canada Winter Games, an event that is not only important to our city, but to our region,” said Veer.
The Canada Games Council will announce the winning community on Sept. 4 at 11 a.m. in Calgary at the Canada Sports Hall of Fame.
If Red Deer wins, the city will host 3.600 athletes, 1,500 technical representatives and officials, 4,000 to 5,000 volunteers, 450 media broadcasters and about 25,000 visitors.
Games bid committee chairperson Lyn Radford said that on Friday organizers will have two meetings, each over two hours long, with the Canada Games Evaluation Committee to expand on Red Deer’s plan for hosting the games.
She said residents are encouraged to be at the downtown rally particularly between 2 and 3 p.m., when Canada Games dignitaries will be at the rally for presentations.
Ron and Cari MacLean, and several local Olympians will be present and will be at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum booth for a meet and greet from 2:40 to 3:30 p.m.
She also encouraged residents to get involved in the Canada-wide social media challenge initiated by Canada Games.
People can join the campaign by taking photos or videos of themselves, family and friends across Canada, co-workers, even pets, that show or say that Red Deer is ready to host the 2019 Canada Winter Games. Post the photos and videos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using hashtag #reddeerisready along with hashtag #canadagames.
A collection of photos and videos from the challenge will be used by Canada Games when the winning city is announced on Sept. 4.
Red Deer is Ready buttons are available at City Hall, Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and all city recreation facilities.
For more information on Red Deer’s bid to host the games, visit www.reddeer.ca/reddeerisready.