The unofficial start to summer, the Victoria Day long weekend, means the first day for many recreation, cultural and historic facilities.
One of the big ones for Red Deer is the start of the annual public market. Dennis Moffat, who organizes the market, said people have been calling since December asking to set up booths. He expects about a 10 per cent increase in the number of vendors, the same as it is most years.
“I think we’re going to have a little trouble fitting everybody in,” said Moffat. “It’s a wonderful problem to have, and I’d hate to have to turn anyone away.”
The public market is about to embark on its 44th year in Red Deer, and Moffat is proud with what it has become. Produce usually doesn’t start showing up until June, but there will be plenty of plants and boxes for sale.
“Every Saturday is different,” said Moffat. “The newness of it keeps you interested, it’s never dull.
“It is a happy place and it’s what I do. I’ve grown into it and it’s part of my life.”
The market opens Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Red Deer Arena parking lot, at 4751 43rd St.
Elsewhere in Central Alberta, Fort Normandeau, west of Red Deer, reopens on Saturday after seeing the historic site being revamped the past year. More than $800,000 was spent on a project to create new interior exhibits, new outdoor interpretive elements and a new film production theatre. Funding for the re-imagined way of telling the stories of Red Deer’s three founding cultures came jointly from the City of Red Deer and the federal Department of Canadian Heritage.
The new look site officially opens at noon on Saturday with a public celebration.
The Ellis Bird Farm opens its season on the holiday Monday. The farm is located between Hwys 12 and 597 on Prentiss Road, Range Road 260.
To start the season, families can come on Monday at 11 a.m. to build nestboxes. There will be door prizes and tours of the site throughout the day.
Throughout the summer, it will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday and all holiday Mondays, with the Labour Day long weekend being the last day for the site.
For more information, visit www.ellisbirdfarm.ca.
West of Innisfail, the Dickson Store Museum opens on Saturday. South of Spruce View on Range Road 31, the museum is a 1930s-style general store and post office. Interpreters walk guests through history of the restored store.
It is open from Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. The season starts on Saturday and runs until Labour Day, Sept. 1.
Another Central Alberta attraction, Historic Markerville, gets its summer season started on Saturday with a pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. The site includes a creamery that is now a museum, a Lutheran church and cemetery and a restored community hall.