RCMP bringing Musical Ride to Lacombe Ag Grounds this summer

The Sunset Ceremonies is a time-honoured tradition in Ottawa, featuring the world-famous RCMP Musical Ride and the signature Sunset Ceremony. Pictured in Otttawa on June 22, 2016. The musical ride will head to the Lacombe Ag Grounds in August for and help raise funds for the Blackfalds Food Bank and Winter Warmth Program. Serge Gouin / RCMP

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Event to acts as fundraiser for Blackfalds Food Bank, winter coat program

The RCMP Musical Ride will be bringing its cavalry of 32 riders and horses to the Lacombe Ag Grounds this summer.

Hosted in partnership with Blackfalds FCSS and the Lacombe Ag Society, the Aug. 16 event promises to entertain audiences, while raising funds for two Blackfalds-based charities and causes.

“What people can expect is an amazing, historical event of what 32 horses and riders used to do as tradition,” said Community Building Initiatives Administrator and Chair of the Balckfalds Food Bank Karie Ackermann. “It’s quite exciting.”

The musical ride was first established in 1876 by members of the North West Mounted Police to display their riding abilities, all the while entertaining local communities. Their first recorded public display occurred in Regina in 1901 and it has been going ever since.

This summer’s stop at the Lacombe Ag Grounds will be a first for the Blackfalds and Lacombe area, and the RCMP Musical Ride won’t return to Alberta until after 2021, making it a unique opportunity for those in the area.

“The show will give people the unique opportunity to not only experience the heritage and tradition, but the RCMP also help raise funds for charities across Canada,” she said. “We’re extremely excited we were chose and we get the opportunity to make a difference in our community with charities.”

Ackermann said she was approached by a community member who was able to get the musical ride to come to the community, and was looking for local causes for the proceeds to go to. She said she immediately thought of the Blackfalds Food Bank and the FCSS’ Winter Coat Program, which provides new winter coats for children in need, and so the proceeds will be split between the two.

The next challenge was finding a place locally to host the event.

Given the Town of Blackfalds doesn’t have a lot of options for venues that could host such an event, and the cost associated with bringing in dirt, bleachers, barricades and all other necessary items to host an event and provide for the horses, they partnered with the Lacombe Ag Society to put on the event at their grounds near the Lacombe Research Centre just off Hwy 2A, about 10 minutes north of Blackfalds.

“Their grounds are amazing and suited this event perfectly,” she said. “They got really excited as well because part of their mandate is to help charities as well.”

The show, to be held Aug. 16 will last 30 minutes in length and begin at 7 p.m., but will be preceded by an RCMP Dog Training Service Centre demonstration at 6:30 p.m.

“It’ll be very cool to see the dogs, and if there are puppies, they’ll bring the puppies along, she said. “It’ll be a special event pre-show as well.”

Tickets are $10 each and are available online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/blackfalds-rcmp-musical-ride-tickets-60484066471, or by searching “Blackfalds RCMP Musical Ride” on Eventbrite.

For more information, contact Blackfalds FCSS at (403)885-0119.

The RCMP Musical Ride will also makes stops in Stettler on July 20 at the Stettler District Agriculture Society, and Aug. 17-18 in Rocky Mountain House at the Rocky Mountain House Historic Site.