July 22nd, 2024

Eye on the Esplanade: Walk the Block

By Sally Sehn on June 27, 2024.

Participants on last year's mini walk with Sally Sehn after their Afternoon Tea at the Ewart Duggan House, including character actors in period costumes.--PHOTO COURTESY Candace Lundrigan

Historic Walking Tours are back every Saturday, all summer long. And, if I say so myself, they’re better than ever!

My longtime favourite tour, the Historic First Street SE tour, has been revitalized this year by adding interactive performers in period costumes.

This idea was sparked last spring, when as part of the Afternoon Teas at the Ewart Duggan House, an interactive tour was included for just one block of the historic area. The mini tour was so well received, that this summer, local performers portraying the historic neighbourhood couple, the Duggans, will be accompanying the entire tour.

Join a tour to see heritage coming to life with residents “Mr. and Mrs. Duggan.” Through entertaining storytelling, learn about the folks who once lived in the historic First Street SE homes.

Another popular walking tour highlights the Historic Railroad District. Stroll down S. Railway Street, Medicine Hat’s oldest street dating back to 1883. Descend through the 1954 pedestrian underpass and emerge to find yourself on N. Railway, home to historic city landmark, the Canadian Pacific Railway station.

On two special dates, July 6 and Aug. 17, the Historic Railroad District tour will coincide with the brand-new Saturday afternoon event, the Block Parties at Towne Square, a unique community get-together.

Consider booking your tour for those dates to join the Block Party festivities at noon following our walk. After burning off all those calories on the walking tour, local food trucks will be waiting to satisfy your hunger. For the rest of your afternoon, there are all kinds of free activities for all ages.

Our newest tour added just last summer to the lineup is the Historic First Street SW walking tour. This popular tour is a continuation of First Street SE, but the historic SW area was once outside the city limits, and therefore features later architecture. The stories of the folks who built and lived in these old homes is woven into each site. Your tour guide is a longtime area resident and will share her personal insight to the neighbourhood.

All three walking tours begin at 10 a.m. to take advantage of the cooler, summer mornings. Tours are approximately one hour. For more tour information and to register, please visit tixx.ca.

The ticket price for all historic walking tours is only $20 and includes a wonderful souvenir booklet. This year’s booklets feature new updates and are hot off the presses for the 2024 season.

Experience the historic summer walking tours. These routes are made for walking!

Sally Sehn is a past member of the Heritage Resources Committee and a historical tour guide for Esplanade, City of Medicine Hat.

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