The Village of Beisker is throwing a weekend-long celebration for its 100th birthday from June 10 to 12, after having to postpone the festivities last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Village of Beiseker Mayor Warren Wise, putting off the community’s 100-year milestone birthday bash last spring was a difficult decision, but it gave the Village additional time to prepare for the many restriction-free events the Village now has planned for the June 10 to 12 weekend.
“It was disappointing but with all the things that were planned, I’m not sure that it wasn’t necessarily a bit of a blessing in disguise… it gave us a bit of breathing room but nevertheless, [we] would like to have [celebrated] on the official time – that’s far more significant,” Wise said.
Despite COVID-19 health protocols, the Village was still able to honour its centennial last year in myriad ways. For example, the Village opened Centennial Park, which features public washrooms in the style of grain elevators. Even though the park has been open for some time, the official Centennial Park unveiling is taking place on June 4 at noon.
Other ways the community honoured the milestone in 2021 included hosting a community hockey game on New Year’s Eve that included some of the community's longest-residing residents, and displaying a makeshift museum – which included artifacts from Beiseker’s early history – at a local credit union throughout the month of March.
But the grand community-wide celebration in June 2021 had to be postponed, amid continued pandemic restrictions. To celebrate the belated birthday next weekend, there will be “a lot of activity…it’ll be a busy weekend,” Wise said.
On Friday, June 10, the Village is kicking off festivities with free tours of Beiseker Community School, Beiseker Station Museum, and the old Alberta wheat pool elevator.
At 6 p.m., there will be a light supper at the Beiseker Community Hall, followed by the Century of Weddings Fashion Show. Admission to the fashion show, including the light supper, is $15.
To end the night, there will be a meet-and-greet social held at the Doug Hagel Arena.
A donation of $5 will get guests into the breakfast at Beiseker Community Hall on Saturday morning.
To officially kick off the centennial celebrations, the opening ceremonies begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Village of Beiseker office deck, followed by a community parade. Continuing throughout the day, Beiseker residents can stop by Heighton Auto Restorations for a show ‘n shine car show.
A tailgate market will be held outside the Beiseker Community Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. At 1 p.m., there will be a baseball game taking place at the Friendship Park Ball Diamond.
After the ball game, participants can enjoy a refreshing drink in the beer gardens hosted at the Doug Hagel Arena from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. For dinner, a barbecue will be held at the Beiseker Community Hall from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For those 12 and under, admission is $10 and entry for adults is $20.
Capping off Saturday, a concert by Canadian country star Donny Lee will be hosted at the Doug Hagel Arena. Although admission to the concert is free, it is recommended to pre-register as capacity for the show is limited.
To end the night, the Village will have a fireworks display at 10:30 p.m. at Friendship Park, with an adult cabaret at the Doug Hagel Arena to follow.
Wrapping up the celebrations on Sunday, a continental breakfast at the Beiseker Community Hall will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on June 12. The final event for the weekend is a tour of the Beiseker Station Museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission to the tour is free, but donations are welcome.
Although not required, it is recommended that guests register for centennial events ahead of time so the Village can appropriately prepare for the number of anticipated attendees, Wise said. Guests can register through Eventbrite.
Wise said planning the many Centennial events has been “stressful” but thankfully many volunteers have helped to organize the weekend.
Dress Up Beiseker
Another way Beiseker will show off its centennial spirit this June is through Dress Up Beiseker, a community-wide contest that asks residents to decorate their homes and businesses in the lead-up to the centennial celebration. No registration is required to participate. Three judges will walk around the Village on June 5, judging the houses based on creativity.
“It’s really nice to be able to focus on something other than COVID,” said Kathy Botsford, a volunteer organizer for the Dress Up Beiseker event.
According to Botsford, the judges will be looking for “something creative, something imaginative.” Prize ribbons will be given out to those deemed the most creative.
Residents are encouraged to keep their decorations up until after the June 12 centennial celebrations so the Village can be bright and welcoming for any visitors who join in for the festivities.
According to Botsford, Dress Up Beiseker ensures the 101-year-old village “is ready for a party.”