The six days between July 11 and July 16 this summer promise to be a busy time in Rimbey with both the 100 Foot Shoot-Out and a visit from the Wild Pink Yonder Wagon Train scheduled within less than one week.
The wagon train, which is re-traveling the original route taken by early settlers and members of the north West Mounted Police in 1874, has the intention of raising funds for breast cancer research and will be arriving on Wednesday, July 15 for an overnight stay.
“We’ve had a presentation from the Ag Society on what the goals are in bringing the wagons through town. Certainly the coordinating organization will be the Ag Society and we’re going to be calling a special events meeting similar to our 100th anniversary celebration and the province’s 100th anniversary and other major events we’ve held,” Rimbey Mayor Dale Barr said. “We bring in organizations from in and all around the community to discuss how they may participate or what they can do. So from that we expect some really exciting initiatives to come forward.”
As part of the visit, Barr said the Town will be ‘Going Pink’ throughout the summer and in particular, the days the wagon train arrives and departs including changing the colour of flowers in baskets hanging throughout the community to a decidedly pink shade.
“It’s an opportunity that doesn’t come in front of communities very often and I give great credit to the Ag Society for jumping on the possibility of being included in the schedule for this wagon train to come through,” Barr said.
In all, residents of Rimbey can expect somewhere between 100 to 150 riders, horses and support staff to be dropping by for an overnight stay, and leaving the following morning for all points north, including a stop in Winfield, on their journey to what used to be known as Fort Edmonton.
As for staging two major events in less than one week, Barr said he’s confident the community will come through with flying colours and hopes most of that colour will be pink.
“Rimbey certainly has a lot of positive events that happen for different types of people. Since I’ve been involved, Town council has always tried to promote the community so it’s a place that people want to come to and it helps attract new customers for business and interest to the community for people to move here,” he said. “We’re certainly recognized as an active community throughout the province in a number of different ways. Tourism is a huge industry – the province is certainly focusing on it, countries focus on it – it’s one of those avenues where you bring in people who are going to spend money in the community to help it be strong and vibrant.”
In addition to providing some great entertainment for residents and visitors alike, Barr said it’s a great opportunity to showcase Rimbey and all of the amenities here to those who may be considering moving to the area and allowing them to see-first hand the high quality of living available.
As an added bonus, the wagon train organizers will be providing a free concert to the community that raises the most funds during the tour; something that Barr said should bring out the competitive nature of Rimbey residents.
He said the Town is also looking into the prospects of joining the Sweet 16 program which is intended to promote the 16 weekends of summer and said any events such as the wagon train and shoot-out, which will be held on Saturday, July 11, contribute greatly to the economic health of the community, but was quick to add that many other smaller events such as family and old-timer reunions, golf tournaments, the annual Horticulture Club’s show and many others, all add up and promote Rimbey in a very good light to visitors.