Don’t be alarmed if you see Second World War military vehicles in Smithers next Thursday — you didn’t travel through time, it’s still 2017.
The Freedom Route will drive into Smithers as scheduled on Aug. 3 despite the wildfires.
John Hawthorne is the convoy coordinator for the Western Command Military Vehicle Historical Society (WCMVHS). He says the convoy will still be stopping in Smithers, but will have a few less vehicles and members because of the wildfires.
“It’s reduced number of vehicles because of the people that bowed out because they didn’t think we could make it through. We planned on 10 or 12, we actually got seven vehicles,” he said.
Hawthorne added they try to visit the Canadian Legion branches that are in the communities and meet some veterans.
“They come out, look at the vehicles and any of the general public in the towns have the chance to do that too. We explain what we’re all about and how we’re here to honour our veterans, that’s the number one reason.”
Another reason for the journey is to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial.
“Celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Alaska Highway and we’re also in the 150th anniversary of Canada too,” he said.
The WCMVHS, which is supported by Veterans Affairs, began their journey from the Vancouver area on July 16 and are heading to Alaska to wrap up their tour on Aug. 8.
They will be coming into Smithers on Aug. 3 and will be displaying their vehicles in the parking lot of the Bulkey Valley Museum from 5-8 p.m.