July 23rd, 2024

Noteworthy: Celebrating Canada will need a second day in the Hat this year

By Bruce Penton on June 19, 2024.

Terence Kowalchuk sent along a note about this year’s Canada Day festivities in Medicine Hat and he’s happy to report it will be a two-day affair. It works well over two days because the calendar gives us Sunday, June 30, and Monday, July 1.

Hosting the event this year are the Medicine Hat Skateboard Association and the Connection – the Intercultural Association of Medicine Hat. In a press release about the event, Yusuf Mohamed from The Connection said, “This year’s event is going to be bigger and better than ever, with a focus on cultural groups and celebrating reconciliation.”

Sunday’s events will be at night, 9 p.m. to midnight. A dance party will be held at the band shell (Glow Up the Globe Bash) featuring a DJ, bands and glow sticks, culminating with fireworks at 11 p.m., put on by Big Bang Productions of Calgary.

And then, after the fireworks – more fireworks, this time in the form of a KISS tribute band rocking the park.

On Monday, the usual Canada Day events will be held, beginning with a pancake breakfast from 9-11 a.m. and a full day of fun – free entertainment – on the Kin Coulee stage, cultural groups, food trucks, vendors organized by Homestead Market, artisans, children’s activities, a petting zoo, sporting events including SEAVC volleyball tournament, three-on-three basketball, barefoot soccer, and cricket.

“Our goal,” said Kowalchuk, “is a free low-cost day for families.”

Across the creek from Kin Coulee Park is the Medicine Hat skateboard park, where the annual Beat the Heat skateboarding competition will be held on Monday. It’s one of the biggest skateboard events in Canada. I have a nephew from Winnipeg who never misses Beat the Heat. He tells me there’s only one other competition event that’s on the same level as Medicine Hat’s skateboard extravaganza, and it’s held in Montreal.

• Hatters provided great support to the Friends of the Library’s annual spring book sale a couple of weeks back, with about $5,000 profit realized. That money will be donated to the library itself and will be used to run programs and purchase materials for those programs.

• One of nature’s most amazing stories this year is about the emergence of millions of cicadas in the United States. One brood of the noisy little flying bugs emerges from underground every 17 years. Another brood comes out of the ground every 13 years. This year is the rare one where the two broods emerge at the same time, a diabolical event that hasn’t happened since 1803. The cicadas will die soon after mating, but the 13- and 17-year cycles will begin again in 2025. Someone in Illinois said the noise the cicadas make in her neighbourhood reached a decibel level of 101, louder than a lawnmower. The bug invasion lasts for only two weeks, and then they become fertilizer. Too bad we can’t get our mosquito situation reduced to a two-week period.

• Students in Alberta won’t be able to have access to their phones during instructional periods, starting this fall, with government officials saying it’s an effort to improve students’ mental health. From what I’ve seen of today’s kids, not being able to use phones will have the opposite effect on their mental health. In many cases, those phones are their security blankets. In my day, the equivalent restriction was that no one could chew gum in class. Is that still a thing?

• Not a bad start, not bad at all: It’s rare for a round of golf to start with a par-3 hole, but it’s possible during a shotgun start, where groups are stationed at different holes around the course and all begin simultaneously when a “shotgun” or loud horn signifies the start of play. On Monday, one of my golf pals, Tim Weinberger, began play in a senior scramble at Desert Blume by holing his first shot of the day, on the par-3 second hole. It’s the fourth hole-in-one of his life, but almost certainly the first time he’s done it on his first swing of the day.

• Short snappers: Did Bryson DeChambeau win the U.S. Open on Sunday, or did Rory McIlroy lose it? History will tell us that the latter is more accurate. … What causes an immediate hit on the ‘delete’ button on an email from an unknown source? The opening words ‘you have been randomly selected…” … Alberta NDP leadership favourite Naheed Nenshi will speak at the Monarch Theatre tonight at 6:30 p.m. This is definitely UCP country, but the NDP’s Bob Wanner won one of the Hat’s ridings in 2015, so there must be quite a bit of NDP support in these parts. We should know the identity of the party’s new leader this weekend.

Bruce Penton is a retired News editor who may be reached at brucepenton2003@yahoo.ca

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