The Stampede has been Ponoka’s defining event for many years. I have enjoyed the rodeo and some time spent at the fairgrounds but it has long been my disappointment that there was nothing done specifically to celebrate Canada Day or anything special for children.
As a member of Klaglahachie Fine Arts, I mentioned this several times and we have pondered ideas but have realized that this was not an easy proposition as the Stampede Association already is stretched thin. It was with great excitement that we agreed to meet with Barry Neath and Marvin Beier when they suggested that the Ponoka Stampede Association would support activities downtown as proposed by the Downtown Stampede Festival Committee.
It was then that we realized that we had an opportunity to create something wonderful — a Canada Day festival. Marvin and Barry went to businesses with our proposal and Bob Podritske from Tim Hortons stepped up to the plate. The Tim Hortons Children’s Festival on Canada Day was initiated.
Our Klaglahachie team went to work. Professional street performers were hired, local bands contacted, a concession stand organized, bouncy castles and a cotton candy machine were rented. Klag members build games, a stage and volunteered their time even though they had a million other commitments. Volunteers are what made this event possible, as they are the backbone of most of the event that happen around town during this busy week. I would like to recognize the many volunteers that helped make the Tim Hortons Children’s Festival a resounding success.
When I first met with Bob Podritske I knew I would need many volunteers with a strong sense of community. I never realized how blessed this community was.
As the co-ordinator of this event all I can say is thank you to Tim Hortons for giving us this opportunity and to the countless volunteers for making it all happen This was a community effort.
Klaglahachie Fine Arts