COVID-19 health restrictions might be a thing of the past on July 1, but Canada Day celebrations in Hinton won’t be completely back to normal.
Föhn Fest organizers hope the annual festival will make an appearance again next year, but in the meantime Hintonites can check out the Farmer’s Market at Green Square.
Fireworks will set off the national celebration on June 30, presented by the Town of Hinton, and a double header of Drive-in Movies will be shown that same night by the Föhn Fest organizers.
On Canada Day, drive-in movies will present a triple feature in a Dusk till Dawn event.
The five movies to be featured at the drive-in event had not been picked prior to The Hinton Voice deadline, but will be posted on the Föhn Festival Facebook page.
An online poll currently shows that the majority of Hinton’s respondents want to see Night at the Museum and Back to the Future.
The event will be similar to last year’s Canada Day Drive-in Movies, but will take place in the Valley Shopping Centre. Bill McDonald, who is one of the organizers, said it will be a great family event for locals.
With angled parking and a larger screen than last year, McDonald believes roughly 80 to 100 cars will fit into the space. He added that the screen is brought in from the city and will be set up in front of Nordstrom Dental.
“Drive-ins right now are in huge demand,” McDonald said. “I think it would be great for the Town to get involved in this and possibly bring [a screen] in.”
People can also use the sidewalks and some businesses will be putting out tables and chairs if it’s a nice evening.
“It’s great for the businesses down here as well, especially the restaurants,” McDonald said.
The Hinton Rotary will be offering popcorn and donuts, and food will be available from several restaurants in the Valley Shopping Centre.
Föhn Fest organizers initially cancelled the festival for 2021 due to the COVID restrictions, but since the province announced it would lift restrictions, the organizers have been busy with planning. Föhn Fest is a not-for-profit society made up entirely of volunteers and the festival has always been a free all-access event to celebrate multiculturalism in Hinton.
“Absolutely the Föhn Fest will be back next year. That’s a huge community event up at Green Square. It would be nice to do the Drive-in as well,” McDonald said.
Just like last year, the food bank will be set up at the entrance of the drive-in theatre to accept non-perishable food donations.Organizers are still looking for volunteers. Those interested can reach out via the Föhn Facebook page.
Canada Day will kick off with the parade at 9:30 am, but participants have been asked not to give out candy due to COVID-19.
“Being that this is the first major event since the pandemic, we are all very excited to be able to put on the parade this year,” said Natalie Charlton from the Hinton and District Chamber of Commerce.
Charlton believes that people are excited to get outside with friends and family and expects a well attended parade.
“Canada Day will be a great celebration to start the summer. Float applications are coming in daily and we always get some great groups that put so much effort to make this a fun event,” Charlton said.
The annual cake cutting at Green Square is also going ahead, but this year the Town will be handing out single serve cupcakes to allow a bit of distancing.
“We’re hoping that the province goes forward with lifting all restrictions. It would be status quo as to how it’s been done in the past but I am not serving cake,” said Don Engerdahl, Hinton’s event coordinator.
The farmer’s market will have its usual vendors plus anybody that wants to join for the Canada Day celebrations.
Three-hundred rubber ducks will be available for purchase at the Farmer’s Market for a duck race on Hardisty Creek. The duck race is a fundraiser for Pine Valley Lodge, there will also be a 50/50 raffle and some silent auction items between 10 am and 3 pm.
At 4 pm the numbered rubber ducks are thrown into the creek and the first one to appear out of the culvert at Kinsmen Park will be the winner.
Engerdahl added that it will depend on the prizes, but there will likely be a second and third place prize as well.
“It’s all going to a good cause, they’re looking at adding some furniture and amenities at the new Pine Valley Lodge expansion project. They get to have fun and they get to give to a worthy cause at the same time,” said Engerdahl.
Fireworks start on June 30 at 10:30 pm with a double feature drive-in Movie event the same evening at 10 pm. Gates to the drive-in theatre will be open earlier, check the Föhn Festival Facebook page for more details.
On July 1, participants for the parade will start lining up at 8 am, judging begins at 9 am, and the official parade starts moving by 9:30 am from Mountain View School. Simultaneously, the pancake breakfast will take place at Green Square.
The parade ends at Green Square with a cake cutting and the farmers market until 3 pm.
At 1 pm the Foothills Road Riders embark on a Hinton Canada Day Cruise through the Hill and Valley districts.
Following this, the duck race will begin at 4 pm at Hardisty Creek. Ducks can be bought throughout the day at the Farmer’s Market in Green Square.
Three drive-in movies will be featured in the Dusk til Dawn event on July 1 starting at 10 pm.
To register a float for the parade, email email@example.com. To book a table at the market or for more information phone Barb at 780-865-4362.
Masha Scheele, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hinton Voice