Airdrie’s legion will be bumping on Canada Day, when the facility hosts an open house barbecue on July 1, complete with live entertainment.
According to Shawnee Hoffman, the entertainment ways/means officer for Royal Canadian Legion Branch 288, the venue at 132 1 Avenue NE will host the outdoor event from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“We had a similar one last year, but we had more restrictions with COVID, so we were excited to hear July 1 will be the Stage 3 opening,” she said. “It couldn’t come at a better time.”
In addition to the burgers and hotdogs on offer, Hoffman said the event will also boast the musical talent of Airdrie country artist Brandon Lorenzo, who will play a set starting at 1 p.m. Following Lorenzo’s performance, Hoffman said local Cadet Grace Budd will play the bagpipes. As well, visitors will be able to take photographs with Allen the Alpaca – a farm animal that is commonly commissioned to attend birthday parties and corporate events.
According to Hoffman, the barbecue is not only a way to celebrate Canada’s birthday, but also an opportunity to showcase the Airdrie legion and let members of the public know what the facility is all about. She added the legion wants people to know it is open to more than just veterans, members of the military, RCMP and first responders.
“We’re hoping to put the Airdrie legion back on the map,” she said. “I think legions have kind of fallen off and a lot of people don’t understand what we’re about anymore – a lot has changed in the past years.”
The barbecue will not be the legion’s only public engagement initiative this July; Hoffman said Branch 288 is also organizing a membership drive golf tournament on Friday, July 16.
“We’re trying to get more recruits, find more support and connect our resources for each other,” she said.
“We are pertaining to a certain targeted group, but it is open to the public and we want to see those players’ spots get filled.”
The tournament will be held at Apple Creek Golf Course. It’s a best ball game with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The cost to register is $125 per player, which includes 18 holes of golf, a boxed lunch and the opportunity to win raffle prizes.
Hoffman added the tournament is open to players of all skill levels, and the legion is hoping for 80 to 100 registrants.
“You don’t have to be good [at golf] for this one,” she said. “We don’t want everyone to be too serious about it, because we have lots of fun things going on at each hole.”
Proceeds from registration will support the Airdrie legion’s programs and services, according to Hoffman. To sign up, contact email@example.com, visit Airdrielegion.ca or call 403-836-7397
“It’s about coming out, having fun and seeing what the legion is all about,” she said. “All proceeds will go directly to the legion for future projects. Connecting resources is a big thing too – we want people to see what we have to offer veterans, first responders and the like.”