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Fort Macleod set to celebrate 150th anniversary

The Town of Fort Macleod celebrates its 150th year this week with plenty of family fun.

A professional rodeo, music on Main Street and at the Empress Theatre, a drone show, country music concert, barbecues and much more is planned for the anniversary.

“We have so much going on,” organizing committee chari Mckenzie Hengerer said Monday, praising the community groups for organizing events. “There is something for everyone. That’s really exciting for us.”

Fort Macleod’s roots date to 1874 when the North West Mounted Police arrived under the direction of Col. James Macleod.

A fort was established as the Mounties worked to end the illegal whiskey trade and bring law and government to the area.

As often happened, a town grew around the fort as more white people came west to set up businesses, farms and ranches.

The 150th anniversary celebration got under way Tuesday with the return of professional rodeo and the opening of an agriculture show at Midnight Stadium.

The agriculture show resumes at 8 a.m. with the second rodeo performance  at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 26.

Thursday, June 27

On Thursday, there is a farmer’s market at 5 p.m. at Midnight Stadium.

Tim Isberg, who was raised in Fort Macleod, returns to his home town for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Empress Theatre.

Friday, June 28

The fun continues Friday, June 28 with street curling at the Legion at 12 noon, a barbecue at Pioneer Lodge with music by Celtic Routes from 12 noon to 2 p.m.; a corporate dunk tank challenge at the Legion at 3 p.m. and a barbecue sponsored by Davis Dodge on Main Street at 4 p.m.

A reception centre with historical displays opens at 3 p.m. Friday at the community hall, and the Welcome Mat opens at 3 p.m. for socializing.

Official opening ceremonies are at 5 p.m. Friday on Main Street with Thane Hurlburt as master of ceremonies.

Town of Fort Macleod chief administrative officer Anthony Burdett will give a land acknowledgement, followed by a Blackfoot blessing by elders Maurice and Betty Ann Little Wolf.

Greetings will be brought by Okotoks Mayor Tanya Thorn on behalf of Alberta Municipalities; MD of Willow Creek Reeve Maryanne Sandberg; Livingstone-Macleod MLA Chelsae Petrovic; and Foothills MP John Barlow.

Fort Macleod Mayor Brent Feyter will provide closing remarks.

Musical performances on Main Street sponsored by Fort Macleod agencies on Friday include Grassland Singers at 6 p.m.; Willy Big Bull at 7 p.m.; Starpainter at 8 p.m.; and Dave McCann and the Firehearts at 9 p.m.

At 6:30 p.m., the stars of Pure Power Wrestling are in action at the arena.

Morgan Klaiber is in concert Friday at Midnight Stadium with Cody Hall as the opening act at 7 p.m.

Friday’s festivities close at dark with a drone show at Midnight Stadium.

Saturday, June 29

Saturday, June 29 dawns with a pancake breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at Scougall Motors.

The community hall reception centre and the Welcome Mat open at 10 a.m., with Avail offering free popcorn at Empress Theatre at that time.

Main Street performances on Saturday include Maureen Chambers at 10 a.m.; Sandra Lamouche at 10:45 a.m.; Don’t Tell Mama at 11:30 a.m.; John Wort Hannam at 1:30 p.m.; and Cody Hall at 2:30 p.m.

Fairytale princesses will be at The Vault the Lethbridge Sports Car Club will have races at the airport; there will be sidewalk sales on Main Street; the Masonic Lodge will open for tours, and a handmade market will be at the curling rink. All these activities start at 10 a.m.

Kids First Family Centre will host a Party in the Park at 11 a.m. W.A. Day school, where Fortis Alberta will host a free barbecue.

Lethbridge College will be at Andrews Hardware at 11 a.m. to offer virtual reality tours of Fort Macleod.

Free ice cream is available at the Igloo at 1 p.m. courtesy of Fort Macleod Glass.

The Centennial Singers, formed in 1974 for Fort Macleod’s 100th anniversary, return for a special performance at 2 p.m. Saturday at Trinity United Church, with special guests Maureen Chambers and Tim Isberg.

Juno Award winner The Washboard Union headlines a special country music concert at 4 p.m. Saturday at the F.P. Walshe school field.

The concert opens with Raquel Cole at 4 p.m., followed by Kalsey Kulyk and Eric Ethridge at 5:30 p.m. and The Washboard Union at 7 p.m.

Don’t Tell Mama closes out Saturday with a performance at the Legion at 9 p.m.

Sunday, June 30

A community church service at 10 a.m. at the community hall is planned for Sunday, June 30.

Lethbridge Sports Car Club continues its racing at 10 a.m. at the airport.

The House of Prayer sponsors a free barbecue at 1 p.m. at Centennial Park.

Free swimming is offered at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the outdoor pool.

Monday, July 1

Monday, July 1 dawns with the Lions Club’s annual pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. at Lioness Park.

The Fort Museum hosts a Blackfoot Princess Pageant beginning at 9:30 a.m. with a dance competition at 1 p.m. and closing ceremonies at 4 p.m.

Canada Day ceremonies start at 11 a.m. Monday at the Fort Museum, with the inaugural musical ride of 2024 at 11:30 a.m., followed at 12 noon by a March of the Redcoats performance, birthday cake. and a cannon demonstration by the South Alberta Horse Artillery.

There is another musical ride performance at 3 p.m. and a cannon demonstration at 4:30 p.m.

Canada Day fireworks at Granum Golf Club close out the celebration.

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