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City of Airdrie to host Homecoming Festival this Saturday to bring community together post-pandemic

The one-time signature event will be possible in part thanks to a federal government commemorative grant of $75,000, according to Shima.

The City of Airdrie has announced its largest festival in support of mental wellness this fall, to be held as a show of gratitude to essential service workers, first responders, and local businesses in various locations across the city on Oct. 1.

The free, one-day Homecoming Festival will begin at noon and will include various family-friendly “tailgating events” such as motivational wellness presentations, football games, children and youth activities, fireworks, and a drive-in, outdoor movie showing.

According to Kristen Shima, community developer for the City, the festival is a family-focused event and will also include a host of activities, including a pep rally and opening speeches at noon, followed by a motivational speaker at Bert Church LIVE Theatre at 1 p.m.

“We will be having tailgate parties happening in parking lots that will include a wellness fair,” Shima said of the event to be held around Genesis Place Recreation Centre. “We have about 10 food trucks coming, and there’s going to be games throughout those parking lots.”

The community developer added there will be a designated kid's zone that will include inflatables, face-painting, train rides, a petting zoo, and music. There will also be a teen zone that includes larger inflatable obstacle courses, a mobile escape room, food trucks, as well as a DJ and mural artist.

Shima added the festival will wrap with an evening concert at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park, featuring Canadian musicians Scarlett Butler, The Blake Reid Band, Lisa Brokop, Julian Austin, Brandon Lorenzo, and Kyle McKearney, followed by a fireworks display at 8:30 p.m.

If people wish to continue the celebration, they are encouraged to visit the festival’s second location at the near the Canadian Tire parking lot for a drive-in movie at 8 p.m. hosted in partnership with BGC Airdrie.

“It’s probably one of the bigger events that has happened in Airdrie, so we really want the community to enjoy the day on that bright sunny day,” she said.

Mayor Peter Brown said the festival is an opportunity to thank Airdronians for their hard work and resiliency throughout the pandemic and connect them with resources they may need, while serving as a chance to get back together in-person as a community.

“The last two and a half years have been tough, both economically and mentally, for our residents, businesses, essential workers, and first responders,” said Brown in a City press release. “I’m excited about what the Homecoming Festival represents – being on the other side of the pandemic.”

The one-time signature event is possible in part thanks to a federal government commemorative grant of $75,000, according to Shima.

“The purpose of the grant was to get Canadians to participate in various activities and celebrations to mark Canada’s emergence from COVID-19,” Shima said. “It also focuses on building a sense of pride and belonging to the community and it supports the revival of local economies as well as inclusion and diversification and bringing everybody together.”

According to the City press release, in December 2021, the Government of Canada initiated a Commemorate Canada grant opportunity for communities across the country in response to the pandemic. On July 1, the City received confirmation they had been awarded the funds to support the fall festival in conjunction with Mental Health Week to increase opportunities for Canadians to celebrate the country’s emergence from the pandemic, while fostering a sense of pride and belonging.

“Communities receiving the grants should also use the opportunity to recognize people and achievements in the response to COVID-19, and support the revival of local economies through safe, in-person events,” read the City press release.

Shima said the event is especially meaningful based on the trials of the last few years of the COVID-19 pandemic on the community and local businesses, as well as frontline workers.

“The event is going to be an amazing experience because there's going to be pockets everywhere of activities,” she said, adding residents are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. “There’s lots of room available for the community to just set up and enjoy the day.”

Shima added there will be additional parking available at Grace Baptist Church, the Super 8 motel, and Super Pufft parking lots, as well as additional capacity for e-scooter transportation to the location.

Residents can find more details about the festival and the schedule of events as they become available at airdrie.ca/homecoming


Carmen Cundy

About the Author: Carmen Cundy

Carmen Cundy joined the Airdrie Today team in March 2021.
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