The reasons to celebrate Canada Day are as diverse as the people themselves, but in Rimbey, as in other communities throughout the nation, the celebration carried with it, a common denominator.
For Lyle Schmidt and his wife, Dianne from Calgary, Canada Day in Rimbey meant spending time with seven of his eight grandchildren.
Schmidt, dressed in a red T-shirt with “Canada” printed across the front in bold letters, has been bringing his family to Rimbey to celebrate the day for at least 15 years.
“We have a cottage at Gull Lake and we just love coming here,” he said. “We love the town. There is good people here and it has a small town atmosphere. We also love the fireworks and you can park right beside them. It’s not too crowded.”
For Crystal Michalsky from Crestomere, coming to Rimbey to celebrate Canada Day is a way to teach her children, Joshua, five and Isaac, 11, the importance of recognizing Canada’s birthday, while having some great fun.
“I try to explain it to them. I hope it means something,” she said.
Jean Buist from Rimbey always comes to the celebrations. “I come for the ice cream and cake,’ she said jokingly.
On a more serious note, Buist said Canadians should be grateful for the country in which they live.
“We come here 60 years ago from Holland. It is great. No one should complain here, and Alberta, it is the best province to live in. We are so blessed here.”
Grace DenEngelsen, vice-president of the Rimbey Legion, was dressed appropriately in the blue Legion uniform. However, as she sat outside, enjoying her cake and ice cream, she noticed many people dressed in patriotic red and white.
“If I could have worn red today, I would have,” she said.
As part of the celebrations, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 36 recognized RCL literacy contest winners, Lora Lee, Jaynie Williamson and Sydney Stratton. The girls wrote poignant poems and essays about Remembrance Day and the price to be paid for freedom.
Cheryl Jones, administrator for the Rimbey Historical Society, said Canada Day activities went over well, and everyone who attended the celebrations seem to have a good time.
“It seemed like everyone really enjoyed themselves and the park was full.”
She noted the pancake breakfast was well attended. Entertainment, which included the Rimbey Gymnastic Club, native dancers from Sunchild and O’Chiese First Nations, children’s music and interactive activities, musicians, train rides, face painting and much more went over well.
Jones said volunteers need to be acknowledged for the role they played in making the day the success that it was.
“Without volunteers things like this wouldn’t happen in our community. We need lots of bodies to make it all come together.”