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Tuesday, 01 August 2017 07:00

The Crowsnest Pass is opening its doors to the province for its annual Heritage Festival this summer

Written by  Demi Knight
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The Crowsnest Pass Doors Open and Heritage Festival is returning once again this year— a weekend full of activities that allows the area to show off its history, while boasting fun events for the entire family to enjoy.


The five-day festival set for Aug. 3-7, brings people from across the province to the Pass for a taste of the culture and history. Cathy Pisony, program
co-ordinator, says this festival is a way for the public to get to know the Crowsnest Pass and everything it has to offer.
“We have so much to offer visitors to the Crowsnest Pass — an amazing and unique history, world class interpretive centres and museums, some of the most beautiful mountain scenery that you could ask for and a fun and friendly community that likes nothing more than to share our riches, and this event truly highlights all that the Crowsnest Pass has to offer.”
The five-day long festival has a theme this year of ‘Lawmen and Prohibition’ to go along with the recent opening of the Alberta Provincial Police Barracks and Exhibit, which of course will be a feature of this year’s festivities. This historic landmark along with many others, is just a slice of what the annual Doors Open and Heritage Festival has to offer.
During the festival people come from far and wide to learn the history and visit the sites of the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre, Bellevue Underground Mine, Crowsnest Museum and the Hillcrest Mine Disaster Memorial.
However, it’s not just the history that brings people to this annual event, but also the activities that are offered each day.
“The Crowsnest Pass Doors Open and Heritage Festival is a great summer event. With over 40 events and activities that are available, there is something for everyone. People can get out and enjoy the natural beauty of the area on a guided hike or mountain bike ride, or visit with Alberta Park educators and learn about the ‘wild life’ that inhabits the area,” says Pisony of some of the more nature-inclined proceedings offered throughout the festival.
The festival also boasts many child-friendly happenings to appeal to entire families such as the Teddy Bear picnic, water park activities, mad science and a movie by starlight.
The event, which has been a staple to the community for the past 12 years, was brought to the municipality by two-like minded individuals. Pisony and Fred Bradley were both involved in bringing the festival to the Pass several years ago after attending a Doors open workshop at the Bar U National Historic Site. After seeing the magnificence that happens when communities come together, they decided it was time for the Crowsnest Pass to get in on the action and offer an event that would bring visitors to the Pass from all over the province.
“This event will get you moving throughout the communities of the Crowsnest Pass and enjoying the great mountain community that we live in,” says Pisony of the festival.
Each year, the Doors Open and Heritage Festival sees a growth in participants, from hundreds to thousands, and this year they’re hoping to just keep growing.
“The event has grown in numbers yearly to where we can now expect up to 9,000 visitors over the weekend. With activities taking place throughout the communities nothing seems to be overcrowded.
We are hoping this year we will continue to grow and hit that 10,000 mark,” says Pisony.
More information on the festival as well as a full brochure on the days events can be found online at: http://www.frankslide.org and http://www.cnp heritagefest.ca.

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