Morinville Family Day weekend a success

Owen Maltis heads on down the hill for a little Family Day tobogganing fun. - Stephen Dafoe Photo

By MorinvilleNews.com Staff

Morinville – Organizers of this year’s Family Day festival are calling the cooperative initiative a big success. This year Morinville’s Community Services Department teamed up with the Morinville Fish and Game Association and the Royal Canadian Legion’s Women’s Auxiliary to cross promote a weekend’s worth of activities for all ages.

Recreation and Cultural Coordinator Melonie Dziwenka said she was pleased with both the collaborative efforts of local community organizations and with the support of the community at large.

“We wanted to create the partnerships that it’s the whole community,” Dziwenka said, noting the partner community groups have always done Family Day weekend events, but this year they decided to pool things together to allow for cross marketing opportunities. “Once again the community has been phenomenal in supporting these initiatives that we have, and the response has been overwhelming.”

The greatest success and attendance numbers over the weekend were at events that had not been part of the program last year. New to the Family Day agenda this year was a family games night on the Friday evening, a youth dance on the Saturday night, and a family movie night on the Sunday evening. All three events were held at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre and were well attended. The Saturday night youth dance, open to students from Grades 9 to 12, drew 127 Morinville youth. The movie night, the second held in the community this year, drew approximately 380 children and their families.

Morinville’s youth worker, A.D. Richardson, who organized the movie night and youth dance, said she was thrilled with the response.

“The dance was amazing,” Richardson said. “We had 127 youth and not a single problem, not even a girl crying in the bathroom. They were all so respectful, and there’s been nothing but positive feedback from the kids.”

Richardson said she had some concerns heading into the event as there were only 31 tickets sold as of Saturday. Those numbers multiplied rapidly at the door as Morinville youth came out to support something put together in support of them.
The youth worker attributed the atmosphere at the Community Cultural Centre and the low $5 at the door admission price to the success of the dance. That combined with a DJ complete with extended play list, laser show and plenty of smoke, set the dance apart from the typical high school dance. “It felt like a big city dance as opposed to a small town community dance,” Richardson said.

But while there was plenty of movement on the dance floor Feb. 18, a more subdued movie night was a huge success as well. Richardson said doors were set to open at 5:45 but a sizeable crowd had already accumulated by 5:30. “The floor was littered with kids,” Richardson said, noting children were encouraged to attend in pyjamas and carrying blankets for the community family movie night. “We ran out of popcorn,” she said, noting they had to quickly make more popcorn and send someone out to replenish the supply of soft drinks. “We had absolutely nothing left in concession.”

Richardson said many parents expressed interest in seeing the movie nights at the cultural centre happening on a regular basis.

Sunday also saw some 100 people take to the ice at the Morinville Fish and Game Association’s (MFGA) pond for the annual Bob Foster Kids Fun Fishing Derby. In addition to opening the pond to fishing opportunities, the MFGA also did demonstrations on antler measuring and other outdoor pursuits offered by the association.

Monday saw a return to more traditional Family Day in Morinville events. Dziwenka said the Town wanted to keep Family Day to the traditional entries of skating, broom ball, crafts, and face painting, events children and their parents could engage in together. Some 200 parents and children attended the Family Day activities at the Ray McDonald Sports Centre.

While families worked together to build snowmen and take part in a variety of activities over the weekend, the Town of Morinville encouraged local families to disconnect from their cellphones, computers and televisions on Family Day to spend that time to reconnecting with their families.

PHOTO GALLERY

Click on a thumbnail image below to see full size image. Then use mouse wheel or arrow keys to navigate image gallery. Photos by Stephen Dafoe and Lucie Roy.

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The Morinville News is an online daily and bi-weekly print publication serving Morinville and surrounding area. Our print publication is distributed on the first, third and fifth Wednesday. You can also follow us online on Twitter @MorinvilleNews and on Facebook at Facebook.com/MorinvilleNews

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