Volunteers needed to make June a record success in Swift Current

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An all-time record 50,000 visitors could be converging on Swift Current during June, and volunteer help is needed to help successfully host a series of high profile events.

Lee Friesen, Executive Director of Tourism Swift Current made a plea for volunteer help in advance of a trio of major event weekends in the City. This weekend the Living Sky Casino and Nekaneet First Nation Pow Wow will be hosted, followed by the Windscape Kite Festival and Long Day's Night Music Festival next weekend. The month wraps up with Swift Current's Centennial Homecoming and Frontier Days running from June 26 to 29. These major events are above and beyond the regular events and activities which draw visitors to the Southwest.

"When you add up everything else that is happening in this month, we have an outside shot at 50,000 in total attendance. Numbers like this depend on a lot of things going right. They also depend on a lot of people," Friesen admitted during a presentation at Monday's Swift Current City Council meeting where he helped proclaim the week of June 15 to 21 as Tourism Week in Swift Current.

"Event organizers know they have the support of the City. They also know they have the support of corporate business. But do we have enough volunteers? That is only the real concern at this point."

Frisen passed on contact numbers of Trevor Marion, General Manager of the Living Sky Casino (306-778-5759), Shann Gowan, Cultural Festivals Organizer (306-778-2686) and Lenora Bells, Swift Current Ag and Ex. Volunteer Manager (306-773-2944) for people who want to help the community successfully host these upcoming events.

"Your time doesn't have to be an entire weekend, or for that matter your time doesn't have to be a whole day. It could be a morning, afternoon or evening. It could also be before an event, during an event, or after an event. I know every event organizer would welcome a call."

The Living Sky Casino and Nekaneet First Nation Pow Wow is being hosted this Saturday and Sunday under the SIGA Event Tent being set up at Kinetic Exhibition Park.

Saturday's and Sunday's events begin with the veterans and dignitaries grand entry at 11 a.m., followed by the dancers grand entry at noon.

On Saturday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Living Sky Casino will be offering soup, bannock and a drink to all Pow Wow guests. This is part of a First Nations tradition of feeding their friends and visitors. Following this Saturday afternoon break, the Pow Wow will resume with a veterans and dignitaries grand entry at 6:30 p.m. and another dancers grand entry at 7 p.m.

A strong turn out is expected for this large event, with over $80,000 in prize money being awarded to the top singers and dancers.

The skies on Swift Current's Southside will come alive with colour when the 10th anniversary edition of the Windscape Kite Festival returns. Airborne creations of a variety of designs will be featured from talented craftspeople from around the globe, and celebrity kite flyers will showcase the acrobatic beauty of colourful kites.

The activities at Windscape on June 21 and 22 make it a complete weekend of family fun, where youngsters can enjoy a straw bale maze, a candy catapult, family kite flying, a juggling tent, crafts, balloons, a bubble station, as well as the popular Running with the Bols.

The Long Day's Night Music Festival runs from June 19 to 22, with the music getting off to a rousing start with Saskatchewan's own Library Voices. The Stanfields are featured on June 20, the Dudes take to the stage on June 21, with the grand finale on June 22 featuring Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans.

Swift Current's Homecoming Weekend and Frontier Days provides a highlight celebration of Swift Current's Centennial year, but additional manpower is needed to help ensure events run smoothly.

The Kiddies Parade on June 26 along with the Frontier Days Parade on June 28 are both anticipated to be larger than usual, and the events surrounding the Homecoming and Frontier Days are anticipated to attract large numbers of returning residents and visitors.

The Grandstand entertainment is bigger and better this year, starting with the Hunter Brothers and Emerson Drive on June 26. The fun continues on June 28 when Blackjack Billy along with Big & Rich are on stage for the Party Like Cowboyz Tour featuring Cowboy Troy.

The Homecoming ends with a bang on June 29 when Nick Gilder and Sweeny Todd along with Kenny Shields and Streetheart provide the Grandstand entertainment, followed by the Living Sky Casino Centennial Fireworks Show at 11 p.m., and as an added bonus Canadian classic rockers Prism will be playing at the SIGA Centennial Pavillion starting at 11:30 p.m.

Organizations: Swift Current City Council, Nekaneet First Nation, Living Sky Casino Swift Current Ag and Ex

Geographic location: Swift Current, Saskatchewan

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