April 25th, 2024

Local Family Day events draw large turnouts

By Brendan Miller on February 20, 2024.

Jasmin Basara holds his nine-year-old daughter Alminia on his shoulders as they splash water at the Big Marble Go Centre during its free Family Day festival on Monday.--NEWS PHOTO BRENDAN MILLER


Under the sunshine in Police Point Park families gathered to enjoy the warm weather and participate in activities held by the Kiwanis Club during one of several Family Day events held around the city on Monday.

The annual event at Police Point Park was well attended and featured a scavenger hunt and free treats including cookies, hot chocolate and hog dogs.

Club president Perry Bergum told the News the event is funded from a $1,500 grant provided by the city and run with the help of club volunteers.

“No. 1 our mandate is young children, so having a day like this where you can see all the young kids out here and that’s what makes our day,” said Bergum.

Children also had the opportunity to get hands on and build a bird feeder, wren house or robin shop.

“It’s a great thing for the kids to get in there and pound a few nails. They’re really enthusiastic and have no fear, they just go right at it,” joked Bergum.

Dakota Pedersen and her six-year-old daughter Abigail, who loves birds, took the opportunity to learn how to build a bird house that Abigail says she plans to hang in her backyard.

“It’s really nice to get out and able to do things in our community and enjoy time with a six-year-old not behind the screen,” says Pedersen. “It’s nice to get out and do unplugged things and enjoy nature.”

Some families decided to give up their electronics for the day to spend more quality time together as a family.

“We actually had a rule in our house today that we put our phones away for the entire day,” says Sarah Stefanuk. “It just makes such a difference in the way that you’re connected. So this is just kind of following that and just enjoying time together.”

“It’s beautiful down here with the trails and the river close by,” explains James Stefanuk. “It’s just just a great opportunity to spend with family and the hot dogs and hot chocolate. What more could you ask for?”

The outdoor fire brought hungry families together for some wiener roosting and quality time outdoors.

“It’s great to get outside, you know,” said Joel Cox while roosting a hot dog with his four-year-old niece Amalia Marroquin. “I think we spend so much winter holed up inside when it’s cold like that. So it’s great to get out with the family and spend some time outdoors with them.”

There was plenty do at the Big Marble Go Centre as the facility opened for free to provide families an opportunity to do some swimming or enjoy a skate.

“I think it’s so important for the community to have something like this on a weekend where typically it might be quite nasty weather,” said Mike Ratcliffe, superintendent of recreation. “It’s a long weekend and everybody’s looking for something to do. So it’s nice to have something that people can all come to and congregate at.”

It was a splash for families looking to stay active over the long weekend.

“It brings the family together more. It’s really important to spend family time together,” said Jasmin Basara in the swimming pool with his nine-year-old daughter Alminia.

Other free activities also included floor hockey and family Nerf wars as well as yard games and the inflatable alley full of bouncy castles, slides and obstacle courses.

The Raimondi family from Airdrie was visiting family in Medicine Hat and took the opportunity to lace up their skates and enjoy some quality time as a family on the ice.

“It’s so nice that you can come and do something as a family that’s you know, free or complimentary as well and get out and get active,” says Erin Raimondi.

The fun continues for students away from school this week with the popular community curling event the “Jam Pail Bonspeil” running Wednesday and Thursday at the Kinplex Arena.

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