Fireworks will be sparking up at the Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede grounds this Canada Day, as the City of Medicine Hat is supporting the Stampede to plan a safe, family-friendly celebration that follows all COVID-19 guidelines in place come July 1.
The Medicine Hat and District Canada Day society dissolved last June, creating an opportunity for the Stampede to step in.
“We had conversations at the board level, and they were really excited about the potential opportunity and then we approached the City of Medicine Hat and put in a formal proposal to them,” said Stampede general manager Kara Brake. “They liked the proposal and essentially we were awarded the event.”
Brake says a committee will be formed right away and will work with the city and Alberta Health Services to plan the event. She adds they have a best-case scenario plan in place, but if outdoor gatherings aren’t allowed by July 1, they also have some alternatives in place so a celebration can still take place.
The Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede already has plans in motion and Brake says Hatters can count on them lighting the sky on Canada Day.
“We definitely will be having fireworks this year and we’re really excited about that,” she said. “We’re hoping to have a pancake breakfast in the morning â€¦ and then just some other family-friendly events, potentially some entertainment whether it be drive-in or being able to have people in person for that.”
The City of Medicine Hat is supporting the Stampede’s Canada Day planning and will continue to be involved.
“The city wants to support community organizations so they may present events like Canada Day celebrations,” said Aaron Nelson, manager of cultural experiences and events. “Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede has a long and successful history of staging community events and we’re thrilled to support them in celebrating our city and our country.”
Throughout many cancellations during the COVID-19 pandemic, Brake says she is excited to welcome people back to the Stampede grounds.
“This year has been really difficult with COVID restrictions and not being able to host events based on the numbers, so we are looking forward to being able to welcome people back to our grounds in a safe, family-friendly environment,” said Brake
“Hopefully it’s the start of us being able to slowly start doing more events throughout the summer and looking into what the remainder of the summer could look like.”
Brake says a lot of people have called to ask about what Stampede week will look like this year and she says she is hoping to be able to make an announcement within the next couple of weeks.