In lieu of holding a Canada Day celebration this year, the Town of Irricana will host the inaugural Irricana Day July 6, offering residents a belated chance to celebrate our nation’s birthday at home.
“We’ve celebrated Canada Day in the past, and it was kind of a lackluster affair, because what we were offering wasn’t as good as what Airdrie was offering,” said Town of Irricana Chief Administrative Officer Ted Coffey.
“Our population was leaving on Canada Day, so we thought, ‘Let’s do something a week later and not try to bump heads with other places’ Canada Day [festivities].’”
The day-long event will include a host of attractions throughout the town, beginning with a show and shine along Main Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. According to Coffey, previous show and shines in Irricana have attracted upwards of 60 vehicles.
“That’s always been the star attraction,” he said. “We all have our fingers crossed for good weather.”
At the Irricana Rec Centre, the 4-H Club is sponsoring a dog agility showcase from 3 to 6 p.m.
“[The dogs will be] going over teeter-totters, running through tunnels, weaving around poles,” Coffey said. “It isn’t a contest, but rather a demonstration.”
Other features of Irricana Day include an indoor market at the Community Hall, a bouncy castle and a beer garden just off Main Street.
For those who want to get their steps in, Irricana’s Historical Society is holding a historical guided walking tour of the town at 2:30 p.m. The group, led by Crystal Bell, will depart from the Irricana post office and make its way through various points of interests.
“She’s just doing a walk around town, showing off the murals, the oldest house in town, what used to be the post office – some of the sites and the history,” Coffey said.
When attendees get hungry, they’ll have a variety of food vendors to choose from, Coffey said, like an ice cream truck, a fruit stand, pulled pork on a bun and pizza by the slice.
Along with the show and shine, Coffey said he expects a fan-favourite attraction to be the dunk tank – for one specific reason.
“The mayor doesn’t know it yet, but he’ll be offered up as a sacrificial lamb,” Coffey said. “He’ll find out about that on the day.”
While this year marks the first official Irricana Day, Coffey said, the town previously hosted a similar event each summer, called Sports Day.
“We reinvigorated it and it’s become Irricana Day, rather than Sports Day, although everything we’re doing is virtually the same,” he said.
At 7 p.m., the Irricana Municipal Library is sponsoring a family movie night at the Community Hall.
Following the movie, the day of fun will be capped off with a fireworks display at dusk, according to Coffey. The fireworks are set off north of the Irricana campground, but Coffey said the display should be visible from “virtually anywhere in town.”
The event is free to attend, according to Coffey, with the exception of purchasing food from the vendors and and market goods artisans.