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Lethbridge County 50 years strong

Posted on May 20, 2014 by Sunny South News

On July 19, Lethbridge County will be celebrating a 50-year anniversary milestone with a one-day family party at the Prairie Tractor and Engine Museum near Picture Butte.

The free event runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and features live music from country singer Trevor Panczak and other local artists, a petting zoo, family activities, food and more.

“We have to evolve with the way the world changes, as well as everybody else. The county has certainly changed over the 50 years. We’ve rebranded the county to a new logo and name and certainly have changed with the times and moving forward. I think it’s a great thing to honour what we have been in the past and how we’re going to change in the future. I think it’s all about a celebration of what a great community this is to live in,” said Lorne Hickey, reeve of Lethbridge County, who has served on council for the past 16 years.

One of the biggest transitions that has evolved over the past 50 years, Hickey said, is agriculture.

“We look back and we think about how things were done 50 years ago compared to today. We have had to change how we maintain roads and the amount of traffic has certainly increased. We’ve had to change our philosophy, certainly in a lot of ways, around that. The technology changes that have come along, I think we as well need to keep up with the times. I think that’s probably one of the bigger things but it’s kind of a neat thing to look back and see what it was like 50 years ago and where we’ve come through and where we’re going,” added Hickey.

Remarkably different, is how Hickey explained the future of Lethbridge County will look, especially if the past 10-15 years is any indication of change.

“Technology has changed. You don’t even have to leave your home to do business if you don’t want to. Whereas before, you had to go. I think the population probably in rural Alberta is kind of changing accordingly. The farms and operations become bigger and less people, mind you there’s more people who want to live on an acreage-style life but that certainly has changed. It’s kind of a reversal even from the time I got on council until now,” said Hickey.

Towns, villages and hamlets in the county will also continue to grow, Hickey said.

“It’s a lot to do with new industry that moves into the area plus I think the more intensified agriculture becomes you have to hire more people to do specific jobs. A lot of people would prefer or do want to live in towns rather than out on a farm. Housing is kind of scarce in the rural population right now. I think naturally that’s a place for them to go. A lot of people are just, when they get on and upward, decide to downsize and I think a lot of them want to move to a smaller community.”

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