For the third successive year, the Bentley Firefighters Foundation (BFF) co-ordinated and hosted a great Canada Day celebration in Bentley with by far the biggest attendance ever. The weather cooperated despite threatening storms. It was not too hot, nor too cold, nor even too windy.
The July 1 evening, staged in the Main Street downtown parking lot, started off with a welcome from new BFF president Krista Turner. Dignitaries in attendance were recognized.
Thirty-eight dozen free hotdogs complete with condiments, decorated Canada Day cupcakes, and pop/water/juice were offered and were used up with some people having to be turned away.
Members from the All That Jazz dance troupe out of Lacombe put on a free show before Gustavo the Impossiblist (Dean Bareham from Calgary) held the audience’s attention with his humor and tricks assisted by some locals.
The fire department had set up a course that gave kids and their chosen adult a chance to be pitted against each other in a fun firefighter-style competition that included carrying a fire extinguisher down a course, moving a weighted object a designated distance with only the power of a hammer to propel it, rescuing by pulling back a pretend body a designated distance, before grabbing a water hose and aiming water to knock off a target, in many cases wetting down kids who purposely stood in the way of the water stream, all in the name of fun. Of course the kid’s portion of the event had been adapted for them with shorter distances and smaller props.
Bouncy castles kept youngsters entertained and DJ Matt Firth from On the Mark Productions in Red Deer provided music for listening and dancing.
A display of fireworks by Fireworks Factory from Rockyford, assisted by firefighter Peter Issler, capped off the evening at 11 p.m.
The entire evening, that drew locals and visitors alike, was made possible because of the great support and donations from throughout the community, a Heritage Foundation grant, and help from Lacombe County.
“As long as we keep getting the kind of support we have, we will keep putting it on,” said BFF past president Carolyn McLaren. “It is a lot of work but well worth it.”
BFF executive include president Krista Turner, vice-president Kathi Issler, secretary Marsha Lush, and treasurer Cheryl Hueppelsheuser.