Bragg Creeks residents can expect a full day of fun on July 16, with the return of Bragg Creek Days offering a comprehensive slate of activities for the first time since 2019.
The Bragg Creek Community Association (BCCA) had to completely cancel the parade and all events in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the community association was able to host limited events that complied with public health restrictions in 2021, such as having food trucks and beer gardens, they were unable to host their annual parade.
The Bragg Creek Days parade has been a hamlet hallmark since 1967, with the last two years being the only times the procession was cancelled. With this year’s theme of ‘Back to Business’, the BCCA is excited to host a full slate of of Bragg Creek Days fun, according to organizers.
“[The theme] is about coming back and connecting with people and having the community come back and see each other in one central place,” explained Lily Lee, a Bragg Creek Days program coordinator.
To kick off the day of festivities, a pancake breakfast will be hosted by Redwood Meadows Emergency Services starting at 8 a.m and wrapping up at 10 a.m. That will give Bragg Creek residents time to travel to the bridge located at River Drive North and Balsam Avenue to watch the parade.
Marching through Bragg Creek’s streets at 10:30 a.m., this year's parade marshal is Dr. Les Cunning from the Care in the Creek Medical Centre – a fitting choice given global events of the last two years, according to Dave Rupert, an event coordinator for Bragg Creek Days and treasurer for the BCCA.
“Those guys [medical professionals] are the champions through this whole pandemic,” Rupert said.
The parade has approximately 30 participants, including horses, floats, and cars, which will be treading south down River Drive for about half an hour.
Following the parade, live music, food, beer gardens, and a market will congregate at the Bragg Creek Community Centre. The market will host a variety of wares from local vendors, including artisan-made jewellery, clothing, home décor, and dehydrated fruits, herbs, and spices to add to beverages for made-at-home cocktails.
“There’s going to be artists that [do] acrylic painting, crafters that do pillows and blankets knitted of chunky yarn,” Lee added. “There is going to be up-cycled clothing [and] preserves, and greens, and we’re going to have a [local] egg vendor.”
The community centre will have a variety of food options for guests to purchase, including ice cream, a poutine food truck, and burgers served by members of the Bragg Creek Ladies Auxillary.
For the adults, there will be a beer garden on site, featuring a variety of different brands of beer and wine. While the adults enjoy the beer garden, the little ones can take part in playtime in a supervised kids' area with lots of age-appropriate activities.
“We’ve got a very high-end park there, with swings and slide and monkey bars,” Rupert said.
For the little ones, there will be a bouncy castle, while the older youth and adults can attempt to make it through a blow-up obstacle course.
“It’s all about fun and games,” Lee said.
Kicking off the live entertainment, a pie-eating contest will begin at 12:30 p.m., followed by live music on the stage until about 4:30 p.m. to mark the end of the festivities.
Rupert said music-lovers of all genres will have something to look forward to.
“We’ve got some country and western, and some blues, some pop, [it’s] a wide variety of tunes,” he said.
According to Rupert, Bragg Creek is home to many musicians who play regularly at some of the local venues in the hamlet.
“This is an occasion where everybody can get up one stage,” he added.
Aside from food purchases, the Bragg Creek Days events are free for all, but the BCCA will be accepting donations.
A non-profit organization, the BCCA is operated by volunteers and the funds raised will go toward maintaining Bragg Creek’s ice rink, playgrounds, parking lots, and the Bragg Creek Community Centre, which housed residents during the 2013 flood and has proven since to become an essential heart of the community, according to Rupert.
Although the BCCA has planned a day packed full of activities, Rupert said communities within the hamlet typically host their own block parties throughout the course of the weekend in addition to Bragg Creek Days.
“[This is] one of the reasons I’ve lived in Bragg Creek for 18 years,” Rupert said. “Having a nice, small-town fair.”