Museum President Jim Bauder looks out on the museum grounds where much of Gibbons Pioneer Days will take place.
by Stephen Dafoe
The Town of Gibbons and the Sturgeon River Historical Society are partnering for three days of family fun with an historical theme. Gibbons Pioneer Days take place July 17 to 19, and organizers are looking forward to welcoming residents and visitors from around the region for the event.
Museum President Jim Bauder said the event is an important one for the community and the museum. “It’s so the younger generation can realize what their grandparents and great-grandparents utilized in equipment and how they survived through the years with the advancement of equipment,” Bauder said, adding many of those technological advances from history will be on display during Pioneer Days.
The museum displays are one part of three days of activities. Friday night kicks off the festival with a slow pitch tournament at the Jack Hogg Sports Grounds, a Kids’ Bike Parade around the museum grounds, and a free Family Dance at the museum.
Saturday’s activities begin with a pancake breakfast at the Dew Drop from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. The Pioneer Days parade sets off from the museum grounds and winds its way to the downtown core at 11 a.m. There will also be a barbecue on the museum grounds at noon. Proceeds from the lunch will help support the museum and its programs.
Afternoon activities include a show and shine across from Town Hall from noon until 4 p.m. There are also a large number of children’s activities, including a prospecting game, petting zoo, pioneer photo booth, and cookie decorating.
One new entry this year is the Sturgeon County Junior Roller Derby Association’s Little Brawl on the Prairie event. The free event takes place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Gibbons Arena. The day concludes with BINGO in the Barn. The event takes place at 7 p.m. at the museum.
Pioneer days concludes on Sunday with an Interdenominational Church Service on the museum grounds at 10 a.m.
Bauder said the weekend offers a good time for people of all ages.
“It’s a good experience for the kids,” he said. “I’ve noticed the last couple of years that there are a lot of young families out with their kids.”
It is an opinion shared by Town of Gibbons employee and event organizer Eva Scrimshaw. “It’s an opportunity to bring more people to the Town of Gibbons and show them what we are all about here,” Scrimshaw said. “We generally have people come from all over the region for Pioneer Days. It’s a great community-building event for everyone who lives here already. It brings in tonnes of people from the region to see the Gibbons Museum and what it’s all about. Our whole town is pretty much showcased during this event.
Kids Can Catch Fishing Event
One of the new events this year is the Kids Can Catch Fishing Derby, taking place at Echo Glen Pond. The event is sponsored by the Alberta Conservation Association. Registration for the event is free online at AlbertaKidsCanCatch.com.