By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – The Town of Gibbons is rolling out the relics and the red carpet next weekend for three days of family activities. The Town will hold its annual Pioneer Days July 19 to 21, and organizers are hoping those outside the community will come and check the festival out.
“We’re trying to bring Gibbons back to their roots and just provide some free activities for the community and surrounding communities to come and partake in,” said Eva Scrimshaw, the event and recreational coordinator for Crowsnest Community Services, which serves the towns of Gibbons and Bon Accord.
The Sturgeon River Historical Society is a partner in this year’s event. Society member Jean Woodger is also hoping people will come out to participate in the various events. “The three-day event is fun filled and family oriented,” she said. “It showcases the museum and the pioneering spirit of the communities of the area.”
The majority of the weekend’s activites are happening at the Gibbons Museum grounds, an historic assembly of several period buildings and displays.
Plenty of events
Things get underway Friday night with a slow pitch tournament at the Jack Hogg Sports Grounds at 6:30 p.m., children’s parade at the museum at 7 p.m., and a family barn dance at the museum from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday is the main day of Pioneer Days. The morning kicks off with a pancake breakfast at the Dew Drop Inn from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The slow pitch tournament starts again at 9:30 a.m. and runs through the day. The Pioneer Days parade will start at 11 a.m. and be followed immediately by a Ceremonial Ride from Lord Strathcona’s Horse (RC).
The afternoon will include a show and shine from noon until 4 p.m. across from the Gibbons Town Office, a new event Scrimshaw said has already generated a great deal of interest from potential participants and those interested in seeing the vehicles. Also running in the afternoon is the Gibbons Farmers’ Market at the museum grounds from 12:30 p.m. until 4 p.m. and a variety of children’s activities at the grounds from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The day will conclude with a bingo in the barn at 7 p.m.
Sunday’s activities include an interdenominational church service at 10 a.m., a Tour de l’Alberta stop over at noon, and the grand opening of the Gibbons Community Gardens at 1 p.m. All three events take place on the museum grounds.
Scrimshaw said Gibbons close proximity to Morinville, Bon Accord and Legal makes the weekend’s activities a good day trip opportunity for families. “If you are looking for something fun to do with the kids, you can get away,” she said. “It’s a get away that’s close enough to come explore Gibbons.”
Scrimshaw said the majority of the weekend’s activities are free events. Breakfast and lunch events are at a cost.
The event organizer said Pioneer Days is a bigger event than it has been in previous years, a trend they are hoping to continue. “It has grown tremendously,” Scrimshaw said. “We’re hoping to keep that momentum so that every year we will get bigger and better and continue to celebrate our community and where we came from.”
The Gibbons Museum is located on 48 Avenue.