Redwood Meadows, the only recognized townsite in Alberta, is hosting its annual Canada Day bike parade on July 1, after cancelling the event for the past two years due to COVID-19.
Hosted by the Redwood Meadows Community Association (RMCA), the bike parade is a staple in the community and a popular tradition, according to an event organizer for RMCA, Kim Snow. She said the volunteer-led association has been hosting the bike parade for many years, but had to cancel the parade in 2020 and 2021 due to pandemic-related restrictions.
However, RMCA did not let the pandemic bring an end to all Canada Day events. Instead of a bike parade, the association organized a vehicle parade last year, where participants were still able to celebrate the holiday while remaining physically distanced.
According to Snow, RMCA is trying to organize another vehicle parade, due to the success they saw with the initiative during the pandemic.
As of press time, a vehicle parade throughout Redwood Meadows had not yet been confirmed. Snow said she has been having trouble finding interested participants, and she believes this is because of the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, which has encouraged more people to get out and socialize.
“Hopefully we’ll still have our vehicle parade as well but I’m waiting…my numbers will determine how we’re going to run it,” Snow said.
Regardless, the annual bike parade will kick off at 11 a.m. at Redwood House. Participants will pedal down Redwood Meadows Dr., to Wold Dr., before looping back to Redwood House. Redwood Meadow residents of all ages are invited to join the parade.
RMCA will provide children with Canada Day decorations that they are able to use to dress up their bikes, according to Snow.
Led by Redwood Meadows Emergency Services representatives, bikers will pedal around the townsite with their decorated bikes.
“They usually grab one of their fire trucks and they run the sirens and they do a loop through the community,” Snow explained.
Although the bike parade is the marquee event of the day, Redwood Meadows residents can expect a fun-filled Canada Day with other events taking place from noon to 4 p.m.
Starting at noon, members of the Cochrane Music Society will sing O Canada to kick off the afternoon of festivities at Curtis Field and Redwood House.
Craig First Rider, a local dancer, will be performing following the music society. The Matt Master’s Band will take the stage next, with Michela Sheedy, a solo singer, performing afterwards. The final artist of the day will be Lennon First Rider, a dancer.
Family yard games will be available, such as three-legged races and potato sack races, while the performers entertain the crowd.
“We’re really excited to bring [these events] back,” Snow said.
RMCA has hired a face painter and glitter tattoo artist from Facial Expressions for the kids to enjoy. There will also be a bouncy castle, slip-and-slide, and a concession stand.
For the adults joining in on the Canada Day fun, a beer garden will be present throughout the day.
The field events end at 4 p.m., allowing residents time to enjoy dinner at home before heading back to the field at 7 p.m. for an all-ages dance, where a live deejay will be providing music throughout the night. The dance is a new feature of the Redwood Meadows Canada Day celebrations, according to Snow.
Lighting up the sky to mark the end of Canada Day, fireworks will be blasted into the air at 10 p.m.