Hard candies, soft candies, candies on sticks, candies that dip into other candy, sour ones, super sweet ones — and Coaldale has kids covered this July 5, as part of the Coaldale and District Chamber of Commerce Settler Days July 4-6.
The annual candy parade is just one of the premiere events, bringing young and young-at-heart from far and wide to the town for a weekend full of family activities.
“We reach out to the community for people to put in their floats, not just floats but antique vehicles, bicycles, horses — anything and everything,” said John Pollemans, the chamber of commerce’s very own Willy Wonka and chairman of the parade committee, adding each year brings in about 40 floats entered in the parade.
To register for free and fill out an application form to enter a float into the Candy Parade contact Dixie at the Coaldale and District Chamber of Commerce.
Pollemans noted registered participants can meet at 9 a.m. the day of the parade at Jennie Emery School, with judging at 10 a.m.
“We give prizes out for different categories,” he said, adding the parade begins at 11 a.m. The parade route heads to 20 Avenue towards Highway 845 and turns on 19 Street and back to Jennie Emery School.
50/50 tickets will also be sold during the parade and half of the profits will be donated to the Coaldale Food Bank.
According to Mr. Wonka, the chamber of commerce buys close to 3,500 pounds of sweet candy goodness for all the kids in attendance. “That’s a lot of candy.”
For Settler Days, Pollemans said, between 80-90 volunteers help out with the weekend event.
“We give away free t-shirts to all the volunteers. Every year we pick a different colour,” said Pollemans.
On the evening of July 4, it’s the no-holds barred annual Cribbage Tournament at the Community Centre, which is free to enter.
“The chamber provides the prizes and anybody is welcome and you don’t necessarily need to bring a partner, we will pair you up,” said Carolyn Currie, cribbage tournament chairperson.
Currie noted players will play six games of cribbage with coffee to keep hydrated during the friendly competition.
“A nice evening for the seniors or whoever else. You don’t have to be a senior to play crib,” she added.
Cards fall for the Cribbage Tournament at 7 p.m. No registration is required, prior to tournament start.
“We’ve had more luck with just show up than registering,” said Currie, this is the first year the event will have over eight tables. “It’s growing every year.”
Currie, who also runs Coaldale Crib Monday nights at the Community Centre at 7:30 p.m., said the annual tourney usually has a good turn-out. Currie said there is a $6 charge for Monday night crib, for those who might want to check it out.
On July 5, after the ultimate Candy Parade, kids can head over to the Community Centre area for Settler Days’ Kid Zone.
“Lots of fun. Lots of activities for the kids to take part in,” said Jackie Pitstra, Kid Zone chairperson, adding the activities include face painting, a building a bird house craft, a bouncy tent, reptiles, a variety of play areas, and a hay ride through town. Kid Zone, which is a free event, kicks off at 1 p.m.
“I think the swimming pool is going to be open again with games and stuff, as well,” she added, including a dive contest and cannonball competition.
Settler Days will also feature a plethora of other fun-filled family events throughout the weekend. Volunteers are needed call 403-345-2358.