All are invited to join in a celebration of sport and the community Saturday, Feb. 2 as the 2019 MNP Canada Games Torch Relay makes its way through Lacombe.
Beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Michener House Museum, the first of seven torchbearers in the community will begin what will be a combined 4.64-kilometre trek through the city, starting at the Michener House Museum.
The relay will then move north on 50 St., loop around Cranna Lake, then south on 58 St. After that, torchbearers will carry the flame past Lacombe Composite High School and M.E. Global Athletic Park on 56 Ave., before turning south on 53 St. passed the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex and ultimately finishing at the Lacombe Memorial Centre.
There, a special ceremony will be held as part of the family event featuring games, activities, giveaways, as well as food and beverages and more courtesy local businesses, including Tim Hortons, ATB, Red Deer Orthodontics and the Co-operators.
Torchbearers for Lacombe were announced in the fall, and include dignitaries Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins, and City of Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey. Other torchbearers include Tyler Graham, a former Olds Grizzlys player who now sits on the Lacombe Athletic Park Association, Rotary Club and Oilmen’s Association boards, Bill Nielsen Trail Society President Larry Michielsen, and Patricia Nelson, volunteer of the year for Skills Alberta, a non-profit promoting trades and technology to youth.
Mackenzie Van Damme, a 13-year-old from Lacombe involved in sports and the creative mind behind Canada Games Mascot Waskasoo will also be a torchbearer in the community, as will Reid Wilson, who helps with local power skating and aspires to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
The stop in Lacombe will be preceded by a Tuesday, Jan. 29 stop in Blackfalds where each torchbearer will run 200 metres to one-kilometre stretch through the town. As the event takes place on a weekday, the run will begin a little later at 3:30 p.m. and both begin and end at the Blackfalds Abbey Centre.
The torch will then be taken west on Womacks Road, north on Vista Trail before looping back to the Abbey Centre via Westbrook Rd, heading south on Broadway Ave, and west again on Womacks Rd. to finish at the Abbey Centre.
An official ceremony with hot chocolate, coffee and more will wrap the event up at 4:15 p.m.
Torchbearers include Dancer’s Edge owner Heather Buelow, Red Deer Advocate sports writer Byron Hackett, former minor hockey president and current president of minor baseball Chris Overacker, active community member Robert Thompson, Ermineskin Elementary School teacher Rachel Weppler and Mayor Richard Poole.
On Feb. 5, the torch relay will make its way to Sylvan Lake, where Gord Bamford will be amongst the nine torchbearers in that community. Then, on Feb. 7, MLA Ron Orr will be one of 10 torchbearers in Ponoka.
On Feb. 15, the torch relay will officially end in Red Deer and mark the start of the 2019 Canada Games.
Full profiles on torchbearers can be found online at www.canadagames.ca/2019/torchbearers.