Swift Current's Centennial Homecoming Weekend activities announced
There will be something for everyone during Swift Current's Homecoming Weekend on June 26 to 29 which is designed to be one of biggest celebrations in the community's history.
A fuller glimpse into Swift Current's Centennial Homecoming celebration events was shared during a media event earlier this week, with a full schedule of showcase events unveiled. Both Kinetic Park and the downtown core will serve as main venues for Swift Current's 100th birthday party.
"I think with Frontier Days and all the activities downtown, we will have something for everyone," said Pat Friesen, Co-Chair of the Centennial Celebrations Committee.
"This partnership with the Ag and Ex has just been wonderful. Our Centennial Committee we really debated many different ideas about where we needed to be and how we needed to run the homecoming. And when we got this partnership solidified with the Ag and Ex it was just awesome. They've already got the mechanics in place to run the fair, to host a lot of people. So we're just adding our resources to what they already do and I think it's going to work out well for everybody."
The official Centennial kickoff will be hosted on Friday, June 27 at 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the SIGA Centennial Pavilion at Kinetic Park with a series of formal speeches by dignitaries.
However, the action-packed schedule begins the morning of Thurs., June 26 with a pancake breakfast and a western style 'Burning of the Frontier Days Brand'. Another Thursday tradition will continue when the annual Kiddies Day Parade winds through Swift Current's downtown, followed by a BBQ for the participants and their parents.
A trio of highlight Homecoming grandstand concerts will be held as part of Frontier Days. Robertson Implements is the presenting sponsor of Hunter Brothers and Emerson Drive on June 26. A country party will occur on the grandstand on Sat., June 28 when the City of Swift Current and the Swift Current Ag & Ex team up to sponsor opening act Black Jack Billy along with Big & Rich featuring Cowboy Troy. Classic Canadian rock winds up the concert series on Sun., June 29th when Nick Gilder and Sweeney Todd perform with Kenny Shields and Streetheart.
Music will also be featured during a trio of weekend cabarets in the SIGA Centennial Pavilion on the Kinetic Park grounds, as evening cabarets will be on stage on June 27, June 28 and June 29 from 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Local musicians and performers will also be featured on the SIGA Centennial Pavilion stage during a series of afternoon performance opportunities.
Frontier Days boasts a centennial themed slogan this year, "Saddle Up For The Ride of a Century", as Kinetic Park will be a major gathering point during the celebration.
The Kinetic Park grounds have a pair of new features this year, including a Multicultural Pavilion which will feature traditional dances and folk music from a variety of other countries. The Palliser Pavilion will be transformed into a Heritage Pavilion, with community members able to see the same historical displays and exhibits which greeted visitors during the Celebration Extravaganza back in February. The Pavilion will also be showing a recorded version of They're Playing Our Song, a production by Riverview Village Estates which features a series of historical stories and memories gathered from Swift Current residents.
The Frontier Grounds will also feature a mix of 4-H, cattle and equine events in three show arenas. The three day Canadian Cowboys' Association rodeo will play a continuing role in showcasing the ranch history of the Southwest. Additional food vendors will be working at Frontier Days this year to handle the increased attendance.
"It'll be huge and it's going to be so exciting," explained Lenora Bells, Event Development Coordinator for the Swift Current Ag and Ex. "And the memories that are going to be attached to that are going to be amazing. Families should come. Reunions should happen."
Swift Current's downtown will also be a hub on Saturday, June 28, with the Centennial edition of the Frontier Days parade anticipated to be a celebration highlight as the biggest and best in city history. Parade organizers are attracting more bands, more businesses are expressing interest in participating, and they have already confirmed the Western Development Museum's Calliope will be making another appearance in the parade.
Downtown's Market Square will enjoy an expanded format on June 28, with the familiar Market Square attractions supplemented by a car show in the zero block of 1st Ave. E., plus there will be musical entertainment in Memorial Park.
"In the downtown we're actually going to 'centennialize' our Market Square and our Parade. And there will be more entertainment and more activities in the Memorial Park," Friesen explained.
"I think the downtown will be a great place to be. There will be spots to sit and listen to entertainment. There'll be our regular Market Square activities. The zero block will have a car show. There's going to be more details coming out, but certainly the downtown will be full of activity that Saturday."
There will also be walking and driving tours as an opportunity for visitors and current residents to both explore and highlight the richness in the community.
The grand finale of the Centennial will be a not-to-be-missed fireworks show on at approximately 11 p.m. on June 29.
Friesen is hoping that more people take advantage of the opportunity to join the registry for the weekend on the Swift Current Centennial Celebrations website.
"We are encouraging everyone who is planning on attending this celebration to include their name on the registry on the Centennial website www.swiftcurrent100.ca."
"It's kind of an interesting list to look through because there's probably names that people recognize on there that are coming back that haven't lived in Swift Current for years," she added. "We really encourage folks to sign in, whether they're local or whether they're coming from afar. Just to get their name on there so that everybody knows who is coming."