German grebble, a Chesterfield Relay and steak on a pitchfork are just some of the delights in store for people attending the Town of Leader’s Centennial celebrations scheduled for June 14 to 16, 2013.
Leader was first named Prussia when the town was established in 1913 by German immigrants, explained Rochelle Francis, Town Administrator.
“We had our 75th 20 years ago because Leader became Leader in 1917. It was actually Prussia in 1913, and then they changed it. So when they celebrated the 75th, they went by when it was incorporated as Leader, but we feel 1913 was when the settlement was so that’s what we’re celebrating.”
Registration begins at 2 p.m. on Friday June 14 at the Arena, followed by a Beer Garden from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. The Leader Lions are hosting a Fish Fry at the arena Friday from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m., with Opening Ceremonies at 8 p.m. featuring local talent.
Saturday kicks off with a catered breakfast at the Arena from 7 - 9 a.m. for those who want something to eat before the parade, with concurrent registration and visiting from 8 - 10:45 a.m.
The parade starts at 11 a.m. followed by traditional grebble served at the Community Centre.
“We have a local group of women, we have what’s called the Friendship Centre which is kind of a seniors’ activity complex, and they host the grebble, kind of like elephant ears,” explained Francis.
“We’re going to do that in kind of a bigger capacity at the Community Centre and try to get as many people in there as we can, because it’s kind of an ethnic thing here. They’re going to do that after the breakfast.”
The Beer Garden opens at 1:30 p.m. and throughout the day there will be entertainment on the free stage, concessions including a hot dog stand, a Kids’ Carnival, a street hockey tournament, a golf tournament, Friendship Centre activities and historical displays.
Deb Hintz, Leader’s Recreation Coordinator, said, “One of the fellows that’s going to be entertaining is Larry Jaster. He’ll be doing two time slots on the free stage, and the other fellow is Scott Heatcoat. I have a street performer that I’ve hired for the Saturday and he’ll also be performing on the free stage and his name is Dan the One Man Band.”
Historical displays will include a lot of the town files from early 1913 to the mid-thirties and forties.
“We’re going to work on some displays of some of that information that we actually have here at the office, and then also if there’s other people that have artifacts or old jerseys or things like that that they want to bring to put on display, we’d be more than happy to have that. We do have the old, old files, and we’ve never sent them in to archives, so we’ve got lots of neat stuff for that.”
The Saturday afternoon Chesterfield Relay Race at will resurrect an old tradition of the area.
“The bridge here is called the Chesterfield Bridge. It’s a relay race that we used to have years ago, so it would involve canoeing on the river and then someone biking, someone running, someone horseback riding, that kind of thing, so they’re going to try to bring it back for that weekend. I think when it was originally done there were five or six different things that people did, but I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do it that big but we’re going to try to bring it back, anyway.”
A unique community banquet will be held at the Arena Saturday at 6 p.m. followed by a dance at 8:30 p.m.
“For the Saturday night banquet, we’ve hired Merv’s Pitchfork Fondue. They cook steaks on pitchforks. They actually do a lot of catering, like at Craven when they have the big concert, so we managed to get a hold of them.
“The band that is at the dance, the Hudec Brothers, they actually grew up here and they’re very popular,” said Francis.
Visitors can take part in a community breakfast on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. followed by an ecumenical service at 10:30, with closing ceremonies at 11:45 a.m.
There might be a duck race Sunday afternoon – if the town’s 500 ducks ever rise to the surface.
“The Duck Race is kind of tentative. We do have, somewhere in this town, 500 plastic ducks. We used to race them down the river, but it’s finding out where they’re stored,” Francis said with a laugh.