The Town of Ponoka, local restaurants and businesses, and the people of Ponoka came together on Sept. 22, to celebrate the completion of a two-year project in downtown.
The celebration of the official re-opening of 51 Avenue, “Fall Fest on 51st,” included opening remarks from Mayor Kevin Ferguson, booths for sampling local cuisine of Ponoka, and live music by The Educators.
Ferguson said Ponoka has come out of COVID stronger than before, and talked about how the town has continued to spearhead projects that improved quality of living for citizens.
While the redevelopment of 51st Ave. (between 50 Street and 51 Street) was a major project including the excavation of the road to replace aged infrastructure, Ferguson said the beautification and landscaping of the street was something that was done “for us.”
Features added to the street include new street light decorations and benches.
The start of the project was put on hold for a year due to the pandemic. Then, once construction began, there were delays because of supply issues and a still-recovering labour force, said Ferguson.
Ferguson added the fall fest may become an annual event, and other businesses in town would be welcome to participate.
Participating businesses for the “Taste of Ponoka” portion of the event were Makkinga Market, The Pavilion and Siding 14 Brewery.
Other businesses along the street, such as Flowers for You, were open late to accommodate shoppers.
Manager of Parks, Recreation and Facilities, Andrew Jones said he was pleased with the good turnout for the event, and as always, the completion of the project was a team effort.
The reopening of the street is, in a way, the launch of what will be a busy holiday season, said Jones.
On Nov. 17, the Santa Claus Parade will make its way down 51 Avenue. Then there will be light display at Lions Centennial Park and the Fireman’s Ball, said Jones.