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Fort Macleod is invited to a Party in the Park

There’s a Party in the Park on Saturday, Sept. 15 and everyone in Fort Macleod is welcome.
The event from 1-4 p.m. at Centennial Park is hosted by the Fort Macleod Drug Coalition to promote family unity and healthy choices.
“It’s just a party in the park,” coalition member Sharon Monical said. “Everyone is invited and encouraged to come.”
The emphasis is on fun at the second Party in the Park, with music, free hot dogs, the climbing wall, new bumper balls and an astrojump.
There will be information available about drug and alcohol abuse prevention and treatment that families are encouraged to take home and discuss.
“We want people to come out and have a good time,” Monical said, explaining why the coalition chose Party in the Park as opposed to a formal meeting format to share the information. “We want to get the message through in a different way.”
“If you spend time with your kids and you talk to your kids and you’re playing with them, hopefully they’ll be open to talking to you about anything they come across or that is bothering them.”
The Fort Macleod Drug Coalition motto is, “Choice, not chance . . . Choose wisely!”
Party in the Park is for everyone in Fort Macleod, not just people experiencing difficulty with drugs and alcohol.
The coalition wants the community to come together for an end-of-summer celebration that will help to strengthen Fort Macleod.
“You get different people together that might not normally come together.”
The first Party in the Park in 2010 attracted about 200 children and adults.
The coalition plans to build on that success, and decided to bring the climbing wall back for the event.
“That was very, very popular,” Monical said of the climbing wall at the 2010 Party in the Park.
Human bumper balls are a new addition to Party in the Park.
“The people actually get inside the balls,” Monical explained. “You bump around and bump into each other. It’s like you’re inside a big balloon. It should be fun.”
For small children, there will be an astrojump.
A watermelon-eating contest is also part of the fun.
There will be music and free hot dogs at Party in the Park.
“We encourage families to come, to get out and have fun together,” Monical said.
The coalition wants to give parents and care-givers an opportunity to hang out and play with their children.
Last spring the coalition held family fun nights at G.R. Davis school that proved popular.
Adults and children came together to play games in the school gymnasium.
“That was just another way of encouraging families to come together and play together. If you encourage it when children are little maybe it carries over to their older years.”
Anyone interested in volunteering at Party in the Park is welcome.
“Even if they can just give an hour of their time, that would be great.”
Fort Macleod Drug Coalition members are Sharie Falk, Angie O’Connor, Liisa Gillingham, Val Campbell, Sharon Monical, Susan Simpson and Tina Williams.
Members are encouraged that their work is doing some good in the community.
“The kids come because it’s a fun time,” Monical said. “We find that if you get the kids to come, the parents will follow, and we can pass on some information. Hopefully they read it and pass it on to their children.”
Party in the Park is funded through a Community Prevention Project Grant from Alberta Health Services.

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