Stettler’s Alberta Prairie Railway. (Tim Proven photo)

Boomtown Trail full steam ahead this summer

Aims to draw tourists

  • Jul. 27, 2018 5:30 a.m.

By Emily Jaycox

For Stettler Independent

The Town of Stettler is participating in the Boomtown Trail marketing and tourism initiative again this year, aiming to bring in more visitors and tourism dollars.

According to Stacey Benjamin, the executive director of the Stettler Regional Board of Trade the initiative lost momentum for a few years but is in full force this summer.

“It took a bit of a break, but we are coming back,” said Benjamin.

The Boomtown trail is a tourism region in central Alberta, east of the QEII Hwy. It’s a road trip down Hwy 56 and 21.

The Boomtown Trail initiative is a cooperation between Stettler Regional Board of Trade, Tourism Camrose, Lacombe County, Village of Clive, Red Deer County, Town of Threes Hills, Town of Trochu and the Village of Delburne and Metis Nations of Alberta #3. This year’s summer marketing campaign includes Stettler, Camrose, Lacombe County, Clive, Red Deer County, Three Hills and Trochu.

“The main purpose of the Boomtown Trail is to encourage the locals, as well as visitors, to explore what the boomtown has to offer, including all the little villages and towns and the little-hidden secrets.”

The term “boomtown” refers to a town that historically saw rapid and sudden growth.

“There is a lot of western culture involved in it,” said Benjamin.

“The boomtown architecture that runs through the trail is also something that unifies us all together,” she said.

“Our main street is very characteristic of it as well.”

Stettler has many attractions, including the Alberta Prairie Railway steam train.

Passengers get “robbed” by bandits during the five or six-hour train ride and enjoy a buffet meal in Big Valley before returning to Stettler.

“It is very popular and it’s one of those experiences that you have to be a part of in your lifetime, I’d say.”

Buffalo Lake, the Town and Country Museum and its historical buildings are also big draws for Stettler.

Three Hills is known for its car show in June and has its Kneehill County long table dinner on Aug. 18.

Camrose has its 20th annual Kick’N Country Parade Aug. 2 and the Big Valley Jamboree from Aug. 2 to 5.

Trochu has the Trochu Arboretum and the Trochu and District Museum.

“It’s [about] exploring and knowing that there is a lot more around us than what we sometimes expect.”

The goal is for the initiative to carry on throughout the year, said Benjamin.

“Summers in Alberta are beautiful so we are focusing on that at the moment.”

For more information about the Boomtown Trail, visit the Facebook page facebook.com/TheBoomTownTrail.

For more on Stettler go to www.absteamtrain.com and www.destinationstettler.com

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