For the second straight year, the Canadian Motorcycle Tourism Association and Veterans Memorial Gardens & Interpretive Centre aim to bring some Christmas cheer in the summer with their Christmas in July event this weekend.
Executive Director Renee Charbonneau says she was thrilled with how everything went when they hosted the event last year and is looking forward to this year’s edition.
“It started last year because our kids didn’t really get much of a Christmas the year before. We had so much fun and over 800 people came out so we decided you know what, we’ve got to do it again because there’s not enough fun and not enough joy in the world right now.”
Santa will be there to take photos with kids and there are all kinds of other activities planned for the occasion.
“We start with a pancake breakfast. Safety City is doing all kinds of carnival games on carnival street. In between, we have a walkway that’s filled with all kinds of family games, a show and shine. It’s going to be a heck of a day,” she says.
The event is also an important fundraiser for three local charities in the Grande Prairie area, as entry is by donation.
“You’re supporting Veterans Memorial Gardens & Interpretive Centre, the Cool Aid Society, and Safety City as well,” says Charbonneau. All of these organizations do great things for the community. It also helps raise money for a future project of ours, the Indigenous War Memorial.”
The support for the event has been incredible since it kicked off last year.
“It’s just been a real community effort. Everyone has pitched in to help in any way they could. The scavenger hunt that we have going on has almost $7,000 in prizes that were donated all thanks to local and regional businesses,” she says.
At the end of the Day, the main purpose behind the event is to bring some Christmas Cheer to youth and families.
“The true meaning of Christmas is about a spirit that should fill your heart and soul. It should make you feel connected, joyful, and hopeful. Having a family-type event like this just helps people remember those feelings. Seeing kids laughing and smiling is what it’s all about,” she adds.
The event is set for Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. and running until 4:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Gardens & Interpretive Centre. The venue is located at 10121-93 Street in Grande Prairie.