Homecoming week wrapped up in style

Smithers wrapped up homecoming week in style on Saturday afternoon, with a parade down Main Street and closing ceremonies.

Smithers wrapped up homecoming week in style on Saturday afternoon, with a parade down Main Street and closing ceremonies complete with music, BBQ and a few speeches by the people who made the celebration possible.

It was the final event of a week-long cornucopia that showcased Smithers’ culture and heritage from the past 100 years.

The parade featured horse-drawn carriages, kids on bikes and a collection of old cars from every era over the past century. It began on Main Street and finished at Central Park, right before the closing ceremonies, where a few hundred Smithereens came out for one last homecoming week party.

Centennial Committee member David McKenzie opened the ceremonies with a special presentation, honouring all of the hard work that committee chair Gladys Atrill has put in over the past  two-plus years.

“She is the greatest person in the world,” McKenzie said, of Atrill.

He then brought Alfred Smithers’ great granddaughter Claire Ackroyd up to the stage to thank her for, “being such a great ambassador,” over the past week.

“Thank you so much for welcoming me to your town,” Ackroyd said. “Thank you to everyone who taught me about your community, your land, your farming, to everyone who pulled me aside and told me a story.”

Atrill received a standing ovation as she came to the stage to thank everyone for all their hard work, and for their timely response to a would-be catastrophe.

Last Wednesday morning, organizers were thrown for a loop when the Main Street fire rendered the Bovill Square stage unusable. But what could have been a disaster turned into an opportunity for Smithereens to pull up their boot straps and make the best of a bad situation.

“It was amazing to see everyone pitch in and help out,” Atrill said, of the move to Central Park. “Not one person we asked said no to coming and helping out.”

The town’s response to the fire became a theme of the closing ceremonies.

“I was so cool to see the way your community responded to the fire,” Ackroyd said. “It was something else, to watch.”

Mayor Taylor Bachrach spoke and musicians Art Henkel and Mark Perry finished off the ceremonies with their Smithers themed songs, Smithereens and Our Town and with that, the curtain closed on the homecoming week celebrations.

“I think things went really well,” Atrill said, while taking a well-earned rest on Sunday morning. “It was a fantastic week. All of the work that the centennial committee put in over the last two years really made it worthwhile. It was everything we imagined.”

And, as for a personal highlight for Atrill, there were two.

“Early on in the week, on Saturday night just being downtown and seeing how many people came out, smiling, dancing, the stage was working. And feeling that same way on Wednesday night when we were set up at Central Park and I realized how hard everyone had worked to make this a reality.”

Though homecoming week is over, there are still a few months left in Smithers’ centennial year.

“Unbelievably, right after the ceremonies were finished, the committee was talking about what they have in mind for the rest of the year,” Atrill said. “So I think we will take a bit of time, regroup and figure out what’s coming.”

 

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Helping hands: the benefit of hiring people with disabilities

““It’s important for the employer to see the benefit of hiring people with disabilities.”

SD54 trustee candidate’s state their case

Candidates answered questions from the public on SOGI, the no grade system and marijuana legislation

Road to the World Juniors starts in Smithers

Walnut Park first stop for tour promoting next year’s World Junior Championships.

Controlled fire on Hudson Bay Mtn

Fire on the southeast portion of mountain is a controlled burn by Smithers Mountain Bike Association

Rick Mercer says pot is ‘excruciatingly boring’

Comedian hopes Canadians will move onto something else once marijuana is legalized

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Carole James avoids questions on B.C.’s payroll tax (with video)

Green MLA Adam Olsen cites huge tax increase for local business

2 charged for feeding B.C. bear Tim Horton’s timbits

Court documents show that Randy Scott and Megan Hiltz have both been charged with feeding or attempting to feed dangerous wildlife.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set for parole bid after 25 years in prison

Bernardo’s parole hearing at the Bath Institution is expected to attract numerous observers

Feds aiming to select preferred design for $60B warships by end of month

Defence insiders say the government wants to select a design by the end of the month from among three options submitted by several of the largest defence and shipbuilding companies in the world.

B.C. city wants control over its cannabis advertising rules

Without a say, towns and cities risk Washington-State-style flood of advertising, proponent says

Defence cautions against mob justice in Calgary child neglect trial

Jennifer and Jeromie Clark of Calgary have pleaded not guilty to criminal negligence causing death

Feds eyeing options to expedite pardons for minor pot convictions

Internal discussions have focused on an application-based process for speeding up pot pardons

Most Read