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Tuesday, 04 July 2017 08:00

Oyen celebrating Canada with a week of activities

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Although residents of Oyen and area celebrated Canada Day on July 1 as usual, there will be an extra special week of activities in the community to commemorate the country’s 150th anniversary.

Thanks to grant funding from the federal government, the Community Foundation of South East Alberta and the Town of Oyen, the community is marketing a week of activities for Canada’s 150th as a way for people to rediscover all of the fun and exciting events in the community.
Celebrating the country’s sesquicentennial is billed as a week of activities from July 19-23, explains Charmain Snell, CAO for the Town of Oyen.
The first event will be Bull-A-Rama set to take place July 19. This year’s event will be bigger and better than the rest with the addition of a dance and fireworks to cap off the evening in honour of the country’s big birthday year.
The grand opening of the Rod and Gun Club takes place July 21 and there will be a barbecue. People can attend and try skeet shooting for free.
July 21 will feature a host of fun activities for families and seniors. A fun golf tournament will take place and people can party on the deck of the golf clubhouse. Being active is the focus of the day with a three-on-three street hockey tournament. Seniors can enjoy an ice cream parlour and there will be a dance at the lodge. The amazing race event is also set to take place this day.
The pool party is also taking place and thanks to sponsorship by Canalta, for the $5 entry fee sliders, pop and popcorn will be available to be enjoyed with proceeds to benefit the Oyen and District Food Bank. People can swim and watch a movie at the same time on the 200-inch screen that has been purchased this year, so it will be available for future events.
The Lions Club hosts its show and shine July 22. There will be a children’s zone as well as a dunk tank.
The museum will be open and will host two escape rooms — a popular activity where groups need to work together to solve puzzles and riddles in order to escape a locked room. A graveyard tour later that night will see participants learning about the local history as they explore the cemetery by flashlight.
The evening will also feature a steak dinner, barbecue and dance for the community.
July 23 will start with a pancake breakfast followed by a non-denominational church service.
Snell says information is being updated on the community’s Facebook page called Oyen Celebrates Canada’s 150.
“There are a host of events throughout the summer so we thought it would be fun to do all the events together and help make them bigger and better,” says Snell, about the focus on the week of activities and marketing it to a wider area.
“Why take away from those events and instead not just add to them,” she explains, about that decision as opposed creating a special event just to commemorate the country’s 150th.
Any money raised from the week-long celebration and events is put back into the community, as is usually the case with many of the fundraiser such as Bull-A-Rama and the show and shine.
“It does help out those organizations already struggling,” she says, about helping advertise some of the mainstay events in the community and attract more people to what is being billed as a week of celebration.
The campground is open in Oyen and people are welcome to book a spot to stay for the week. Most activities held will include a children’s activity zone so parents can leave their children to play, while they take in some of the events meant for adults.
“The community has pulled together to make this the best possible event,” adds Snell, about the week-long festivities in July. “We hope people come out and enjoy it.”

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor