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Rain-drenched Innisfail changes venue for Canada Day party

Main celebration will be at the Innisfail Arena; fireworks will go tonight as planned but weather conditions will be monitored
MVT Innisfail Canada Day returns
This year's Canada Day celebrations were scheduled for Centennial Park but the recent inclement weather conditions have forced organizers to move the July 1st party to the Innisfail Arena. All planned activities will still go ahead as originally scheduled. File photo/MVP Staff

INNISFAIL — The ongoing inclement weather has forced a change of venue for tomorrow’s main Canada Day celebration.

Originally, the decision was to have this year’s main Canada Day party at Centennial Park.

But after two weeks of near continuous rain, often with the threat of thunderstorms and hail, the town is moving the celebration to the Innisfail Arena.

“We've made the decision to move the celebrations indoors at the arena. It's just going to be more comfortable for participants,” said Ken Kowalchuk, the town’s communications coordinator.

“There's some standing water at Centennial Park, so the ground is a little bit swampy at this point due to the heavy rainfall we had last week. And also, there's a chance of more rain and thunderstorms on the day of the event.”

He added that all of the events and activities planned for Centennial Park will still go ahead at the Innisfail Arena at the same scheduled times.

“That's actually fortunate in that we are able to do everything that was planned for outdoors is still going to take place indoors,” said Kowalchuk, adding the fireworks are still going ahead tonight as planned but weather conditions will still be watched closely.

“I think thunderstorms are probably the greater issue because of the risk to people standing outside.”

If inclement weather forces a cancellation of the June 30 fireworks, the event will be moved to another date.

In the meantime, the Canada Day celebrations for July 1 will kick off at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Friday) morning at the Innisfail and District Historical Village with the Rotary Club of Innisfail hosting a pancake breakfast from 9 to 11 a.m. There will also be entertainment, including kid’s crafts and family games until 2 p.m.

At 4 p.m., everyone is invited to head over to the Innisfail Arena.

The Kinette Club of Innisfail and Anna Lenters are hosting a family activity section that will feature crafts, face painting, bounce houses and a chance to meet some princesses.

There will also be dance performances from MacLeod of Lewis Dance and Joy’s School of Dance.

The Innisfail Lions Club will be hosting a beer garden and barbecue. Many food trucks will also attend.

Canada Day at the Innisfail Arena will also have many live musical performances.

Red Deer-based Paeton Cameron will kick things off at 5 p.m. Following that performance at 6 p.m. there will be the singing of O Canada.
Singer and songwriter Rebecca Raabis will then bring in alt-pop tunes at 6:15 p.m.

Young Howler, an alternative rock quartet from Red Deer, will play a set beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The group will be followed at 8:45 p.m. by pop-country artist Alex Hughes.

At 10 p.m. Sour Patch Men will end the local Canada Day evening at the Innisfail Arena with a set of their bluegrass-folk influenced tunes.