As the days begin to noticeably shorten and as the kids head back to school, let’s take a moment to reflect back on the busy summer we’ve been enjoying in Ponoka this year.
The world renowned Ponoka Stampede returned in July, breaking previous attendance records as thousands of rodeo fans turned out to enjoy this world class event. The Town was also proud to host the Tipi Village which ran every day during the Stampede. It was a well-attended event and a welcome addition to Stampede Week, offering a rich and vibrant celebration of our local region’s Indigenous culture and heritage.
The Town’s recreational facilities have also been a hub of activity this summer. From the Aquaplex to the new drop-in programs at the Arena, to our trails, parks, ball diamonds and soccer pitches; all have been extremely well attended. Thanks to the addition of a new ice plant at our Arena last year, Ponoka was able kick off our ice season much earlier than normal, which allowed us to welcome the Black Elk Hockey Camp back to our community after an absence of several years. And since the hockey camp’s name was inspired by the Blackfoot word, Ponoka (which means elk); they’re back where they belong.
As an added note my wife Heather and I went on a skating date, and the ice was simply amazing. What a treat to beat the 30-degree heat by going skating. And speaking of beating the heat, I noted that the splash park always seemed to be bustling with families and their children this summer. It was fun to pop by and see so many kids running all about splashing their hearts out.
The redevelopment of 51 Avenue has been a huge project for the Town this summer. We would like to thank everyone, especially our business owners, for their patience while this project is completed. It will move the underground infrastructure on this road into the 21st century, and should look amazing when completed with a fully redeveloped roadway, sidewalks, lighting, street furniture and new sewer and storm water pipes underground.
The Town also welcomed a new full-time Community Peace Officer (CPO) this summer. While a large part of his job is to provide education and enforcement of Town bylaws, his role also includes getting out and connecting with citizens, community groups and businesses as he works to develop a CPO program to best serve the needs of our Town. It’s nice to have another pair of boots and eyes helping to serve our community.
On a final note, even with the days getting shorter, there is still some summer left, so I hope everyone will get out and safely enjoy everything a Ponoka summer still has to offer.
Mayor of Ponoka