Staff Windup at Kraay Family Farm
The summer is almost over. 🙁 That means it was time for a staff windup. Marie, our executive director treated us all to an afternoon at Kraay Family Farm. This summer we had seven summer students and an intern working at the three museums. Martin and Robyn worked in the archives at the Michener House Museum. Kim did frontline at Michener House. Seth & Kirsten worked at the Blacksmith Shop. Nicole and Cassidy worked at the Flatiron Museum. Paige was our summer intern and worked out of the Michener House. Also joining us on our trip were Becca and Angel who work at the Michener House and Flatiron, respectively. Unfortunately Ellen and Robyn were unable to join us at the farm. Our first stop was of course the maze! A group of us decided to try the hard phase first. There was a lot of back tracking and Marco Polo but we solved the clues and made it out in time for snacks! Marie treated us all to snacks from the Corncession and the Sugar Shack. Our favourites were the kettle corn, deep fried pickles, and the ice cream! We went and visited all of the cute animals next and of course our favourite animals were the GOATS! They also have pigs, chickens, ducks, miniature ponies, a donkey and bunnies. Off to the bouncy pillows and Grain Train! Seth tried to bounce us off the pillows. Nicole and Paige had a bounce race, we’re not too sure who won. Angel enjoyed a tour of the farm on the Grain Train. She got to see the pumpkin patch and how tall the corn was. After the bouncy pillows we tried out some of the lawn games. Becca, Kim, Nicole, Seth, and Martin tried bowling and corn hole while Marie taught Cassidy how to play giant chess! Next we were off to have a Shootout at OK Corral. We had a blast shooting each other! After the Shootout we went for slushies. Kim and Paige battled against Seth in Tug’ O War and can you guess who won? Kim and Paige did! Seth got his revenge once Paige left and he won battling Kim. Nicole, Marie, Seth, Martin, and Cassidy went go carting! It was supposed to be a race but it didn’t work out. It was time to say our farewells… Until next time! Kraay Family Farm’s summer hours run until September 4, 2017 at 10:00am until 8:00pm Monday- Saturday. And on Labour day 10:00am- 6:00pm. In the Fall (September 5- October 21, 2017) the fun starts at at 4:00pm- 8:00pm Tuesday-Thursday, 10:00am- 6:00pm Friday- Saturday and on Thanksgiving Monday 10:00am-6:00pm. But don’t worry the closing time is the time the Ticket booth closes you can still play at the farm 1 hour after the ticket booth closes! We had a blast at Kraay Family Farm. We’d love to hear about your day at Kraay Family Farm. Share with us on twitter and facebook!
Canada 150 Celebrate & Decorate Contest
To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Lacombe Regional Tourism, City of Lacombe and the Lacombe & District Historical Society is challenging local residents and business owners to show their Canadian Pride by decorating their front doors, porches, and windows with red and white. Your help is needed to fill our streets with an atmosphere of celebration and pride. Tourism staff hope to see homes and businesses decorated from June to August so that decorations are in place for Canada Day and all summer long! All residents and businesses who sign up to participate will be entered into a draw to win a Lacombe themed prize pack! To register please visit: https://www.cognitoforms.com/LacombeRegionalTourism1/Canada150ContestForm Or fill out the registration form and return it to the Flatiron Museum, Michener House Museum, or the City Hall. Canada 150 Contest Registration Form Full Contest Rules & Regulations Please read these rules and regulations, and complete either the online registration ballot or the attached printable ballot. If you have any questions please call 403.755.6935 Entry ballots can be submitted online, or in person at the Flatiron Museum, Michener House Museum or the City Hall. Registration is open to all residents and businesses within the boundaries of the City of Lacombe Entry is free. Ballots must be received by 12:00pm on Friday, June 30th Participants must submit a photo of their yard or business along with their entry ballot. Participants agree to have their photos posted on the City of Lacombe, Lacombe Regional Tourism, & Lacombe and District Historical Society website and social media pages. These photos may also be shared with official event partners. Participants agree that there will be no compensations of any kind for said posting or publication. All entries must include an address. The address will not be published with the photos. Draw for prize will occur by 5:00pm on Friday, June 30th All residents who submit a ballot will be entered into a draw. The prize will consist of one (1) “Lacombe” themed gift basket. Participation is limited to one (1) ballot per address. Contact information is required on registration forms to contact winning entries. City of Lacombe, Lacombe Regional Tourism, & Lacombe and District Historical Society will not disclose this information to anyone.
Seniors “55 Plus” Week
This year, seniors week is June 5th-10th! The Lacombe & District FCSS has been busy planning some wonderful events for the week. Check out the events going on and make sure to attend a few of them!
Lacombe County News April 2017 – Canada 150 Blog
Canada 150 celebrations for 2017 are slated to be showcased throughout the year and boast a great line-up of events! Groups and organizations have been encouraged to make 2017 as a whole, a year-long celebration of all things Canadian! To start things off the Mary C. Moore Library and Lacombe Tourism are participating in National Film Day on April 19th, showing two different Canadian films. These showings are free to the public and held at the Flatiron Museum in the afternoon and the Lacombe City Cinema in the evening. Many other traditional events and festivals will also take place with additional Canada 150 events and themes this year. Canada Day Celebrations for 2017 will be larger than ever with many County and Municipalities budgeting additional funding to support community events such as concerts and fireworks displays. See Lacombe Tourism for individual community schedules and the local newspapers for commemorative inserts. Make sure and stop by the Flatiron Museum and pick up some Canada t-shirts, hats, and souvenirs!
Winter Activities to Keep You Healthy & Happy
The season is long but there is still so much to do. The City of Lacombe and Lacombe County are a great place to enjoy a crisp cool day out on the lakes doing a little ice fishing, snowmobiling or skating. If you are more adventurous you might take up kiteboarding and sail your way along the frozen shorelines and drifts. The City of Lacombe has many cleared ponds in which to skate on and also some groomed trails for hiking and cross country skiing. The Town of Blackfalds also has many cleared ponds in which you can skate on! If outdoor sports aren’t your thing you may consider some indoor skating at the Gary Moe Sportsplex or catching a hockey game of the Lacombe Generals. Not sure where to get started? Stop by Lacombe Tourism at #100 5005 50th Ave and pick up a map of the trails and recreational areas of Lacombe. Enjoy the pictures and be inspired to embrace the season!
Family Fun Activities for Halloween
The faint of heart can wander through the decorated aisles and view the many carved jack-o-lanterns, and young goblins can make a Halloween craft or two. The Haunted (green) House will be ready for victim’s visitors October 28 and October 29 from 7-10 pm, and October 30 from 7-9 pm at PJ’s Plantation at Tees. Admission is free, but a non-perishable food donation for our communities’ food banks would be appreciated. Call 403-348-9803 for more info. Featuring over 750 square feet of haunted walk through, as well as coffee and a warm up location. The yard display and Food Bank bin is already up and the Haunted Walk Through will be open to the public October 28th to the 31st from 6:00 PM- 9:00 PM each night located at 54 Erica Drive, Lacombe. Entry is free with a Food Bank donation! Costume contest, photo booth, games with prizes, candy, snacks and monster music at the Monster Bash! This event takes place on Saturday, October 29th from 2-4pm at the Blackfalds Community Hall! Tickets are limited so get them now at the Abby Centre. Bar, Light Loonie/Toonie Concession, Door Prizes, DJ, Games & More! This is a fantastic night for family fun! Check out the Tees Halloween Spooktacular Family Dance and Game Night. Saturday October 29th 8pm-midnight at the AG Society. Zed Haunted House –Tuesday, October 18th – Monday October 31st, 6-10pm. Not for the faint of heart (children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult). And we host weekend matinees for those who are feeling timid! The unique aspect of this Haunted Attraction is that one may visit several times and have a different experience every visit. This is due to the fact that we utilize animatronic props, feature designs, different routes combined with live character actors. All our actors are trained to adjust their routines depending on the visitor. For example routines will vary depending on whether or not the visitor is a child or an adult. We are here to entertain you and have fun, not to traumatize. One must be aware that this attraction is not recommended for young children. Children under 10 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. The Zed Haunted House is located at Parkland Mall in the old Sport Check.
Bentley & District Ag Society 50th Town and Country Fair
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Town and Country Fair! So we wanted to part take in some of the activities. The first event we participated in was the parade, it but a smile on our faces to see all families and kids having a blast watching the awesome parade. Our van won the second best decorated vehicle! After the parade was over, we stopped by the museum. The museum was bigger than we thought, they have the house and two more buildings in the back to explore! Their displays make it so that each time you go back to visit the museum you’ll see something different. We didn’t want to leave the museum but we only had so much time. So our next stop was the senior’s Pie Social. When we parked the van, we could already hear the laughs and chit chats from everyone. The church was just buzzing! Admission was by donation, so we gave our donations and got our delicious pie! We only had time for those three events. But some of the other events that happened were: A Show N’ Shine Rodeo Kids Fun Zone Magic Show
A Day at the Kraay Family Farm
Kraay Family Farm is a local business in Lacombe that is located just west of town on Range Road 1. They started their farm and corn maze in 1999, from then on their farm has grown. In 2012 the farm won a Guinness World Record for the Largest Corn Maze at 29 Thousand m². They now have 24 activities to do and see at their farm including; jumping pillows, a grain train, pig races, miniature golf, Stalk car Raceway, pumpkin cannon, gemstone mining, giant games and of course the corn maze with 3 phases. Some of the activities do cost tokens which can be bought; 1 token for $1.00, 10 for $9.00 and 25 for $20.00. These extra activities include; the grain train (2 tokens), corn/ pumpkin blaster (1 token per shoot), Hi Striker (1 token for 3 hits) and Shootout at the Oak Corral (4 tokens per game) This year the corn maze is in celebration of 50 years of “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”. This year the corn is almost 10ft tall, so it will be easy from everyone both big and small to get lost in the corn. But don’t worry if you remember to grab your passport you can find numbers in the maze and if you get the answer to the question correct then you have a little extra help finding your way out of the maze! Kraay Family Farm is open from the end of July until the end of October (this year October 22, 2016). The best time to go to the maze is in August as it is still the warm weather and the corn is at its tallest. They also have rentals on the farm so you can make the most of your time there, for the little ones they have wagons ($2.00) so they can ride when they get tired from running through the maze. They also have tent rentals ($30.00 per hour) which includes 3 picnic tables, and 1 serving table, and BBQ rentals ($10 each) which includes the propane and utensils. This is great for birthday parties, or a great day activity for family gatherings. There are also multiple places on site where you can buy food, drinks, snacks and even souvenirs and gifts. You can start your day of fun in the summer (until September 5, 2016) at 10:30am until 8:00pm Monday- Saturday. And on Labour day 10:30am- 6:00pm. In the Fall (September 6- October 22, 2016) the fun starts at at 4:00pm- 8:00pm Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30am- 6:00pm Friday- Saturday and on Thanksgiving Monday 10:30am-6:00pm. But don’t worry the closing time is the time the Ticket booth closes you can still play at the farm 1 hour after the ticket booth closes! With great prices Kraay family farm is not only hours of entertainment and fun it is also very afforable. A Day pass is $13.00 (anyone 3 and under are free), a season pass is $35.00, and a group day pass is $11.00 per person( 25 people or more), to get this deal you need to pay as a group. This year they also have an Everything pass for $20.00 which includes enough tokens to try each of the extra activities once. This year they are hosting an Outdoor movie night on September 23, 2016, where one of the movies that will be shown is “The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”. Come out and sit by a fire pit (fire wood $5.00), take in all that the farm has to offer and watch a great movie!
Lacombe is a wonderful place with, so much to see and do around the county. There are so many new restaurants, bakeries, and stores opening in Lacombe, that all bring their own unique talents and services to the area. Because of this we could not decide what the best place was. We wanted to know what the people of Lacombe thought so we created a survey and asked, what their favourite place to eat is, where they like to shop and what they like to do in Lacombe. The majority of people that took our survey were in between the ages of 26-35, followed by people in the 36-40 years old category. We then asked if they had children (0-18 years of age) living at home, as this can affect where people like to go in Lacombe. And we came up with almost a 50/50 split. With the Children’s ages from 1 and under to 18 there was a wide variety of ages. With this information we could figure out what people like to do when they have kids at home and if they don’t have kids at home. Lacombe has so many different and unique restaurants, that offer something a little bit different for everyone’s tastes. All the employees have different tastes and depending on who you talk too, you will get a different answer on where to eat. Cilantro and Chive 5021 50 Street, Lacombe AB. Hours: Monday- Wednesday 11am-9pm Thursday-Saturday 11am- 11pm Website: cilantroandchive.ca Cilantro and Chive is a new restaurant that has opened up in Lacombe, they provide the freshest ingredients for your meal. With a menu that is constantly changing there is something for everyone and something new to look forward to when you come back. With a kid’s menu and colouring it is a great place to go for a great family meal. With a bar, and patio it is also a great date night spot as well! Leto’s 1-4944 Highway 2a, Lacombe AB. Hours: Sunday-Wednesday 11am- 11pm Thursday- Saturday 11am- 1pm Website: letos.ca One Restaurant that is popular in Lacombe and has been around for over 20 years is Leto’s. They have a wide variety of food, so there is sure to be something for everyone. East Side Eatery 5210 Wolf Creek Dr. Lacombe AB Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm Website: www.eastsideeatery.com East Side Eatery is located on the East side of Lacombe in the Wold Creek Industrial Park. They offer two homemade daily soup specials and sandwiches with roast meats and fresh bread. Other options include, chili or taco salad and there are always delicious cheese cake or pie options for dessert! Morrison House Café 5331 51 Ave, Lacombe AB. Hours: Tuesday- Friday 11am- 3:30pm Website: morrisonhouse.com The Morrison House Café is located in the City of Lacombe’s first mayor’s house, built in 1919 this home has maintained it classic style and ambience. They have a variety of soups, sandwiches, salads and desserts home made daily. With the pie flavours always changing there is always a reason to come back! Gluten free options are available. Call ahead in the morning to request your favourite pie! For the kids they have a playhouse and sandbox in the back to entertain them well they wait for their food! We asked the people of Lacombe what their favourite place to eat was and Cilantro and Chive was the winner, with Leto’s and Eastside Eatery tied for second and the Station in third. With so many great restaurants in Lacombe there is sure to be one that will keep you coming back! It is always nice to have a Sweet treat, either it be for your cheat day, a celebration or just because. There are so many new places opening up in Lacombe that have amazing backed goods and so many places that have been here for years! Sweet Capone’s 5010 50th Avenue, Lacombe AB. Hours: Tuesday- Friday 10am- 2pm Website: sweetcapones.com Bring the taste of Italy to Downtown Lacombe is Sweet Capone’s. This new bakery opened on July 1st, 2016 and has lineups out side, half an hour before they open with people waiting with anticipation to get their hands on some of there sweet treats. With Fresh Cannolis, Pesche Dolci, Florentines, and tiramisu, this has got to be a stop on everyone’s list when visiting Lacombe! But make sure you get there early so you have a chance to get exactly what you want! Kavaccino’s 5028 51 Street, Lacombe AB. Hours: Monday & Friday 7:30am- 5pm Tuesday- Thursday 7:30am- 10pm Saturday 9am- 5pm Menu: Kavacinnos.com With a Lunch menu that changes daily there is always something new for you to try, but you can always know that you can get your favourite sweet treat! With specialty drinks it is a great place to get a break from your busy schedule. When we asked Lacombain’s, we learned that their favourite spots to buy a sweet treat is Sweet Capone’s, Kavaccinos, and East Side Eatery! When you come to Lacombe, you will quickly learn that we do not have many big box stores, this is something that makes Lacombe so unique, we like to have locally run businesses, with unique items inside. These stores are sure to give you the unique look you are looking for whether it is in fashion or home décor. Red Hot Threads 5008 50th Avenue, Lacombe AB. Hours: Monday- Friday 10am- 6pm Saturday 10am- 5pm Thursday 10am- 8pm A local business at offers a boutiquey feel for 10 years, Red Hot Threads has a large selection of clothing and a variety of Top brand name clothing for men, ladies and children (3 months+). With brands like Dex, Sliver, Pink Martini, Hurley, Volcom, Bilibong, Roxy, and Quicksilver there is sure to be something for everyone. Elite Bridal Boutique 4923 50 Avenue, Lacombe AB. Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5:30pm Thursdays 10am-8pm Website: www.elitebridalboutique.com Not only do people come to this Boutique for a special personalized experience, when they are looking for their bridal grown, bride’s maid dresses or grad dresses, people love to come here for shoes, dresses and clothing for special occasions and everyday wear. They always have something new and exciting for you! Boots, Bernie Mev Shoes, purses, jewellery are some of the extras you can get to complete your outfit. Oh My Garden #2 4842 46 Street, Lacombe AB. Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am- 6pm Sundays: 12-5 pm Website: ohmygarden.com Oh My Garden is a home and garden décor store in Lacombe, that opened in April, 2013. They have a wide variety of unique items for sale. Everything from signs, statues, bird feeders, wine chimes, to mugs, wine glasses, baby items, pets, and jewelry. The best part is they have an online store so you can always have that special unique piece for your garden, home, or man cave. This store is the perfect place to find a gift for you or someone else. Vintagebelles 1540 50 Street, Lacombe AB. Hours: Tuesday- Saturday 10am- 5pm Website: thevintagebelle.com Vintagebelles sells vintage collectables (things that are less then 100 years old), Kitsche, and clothes, there is sure to be something for everyone. They pride themselves in their displays, making it so that you won’t have to dig through everything you don’t want to find that one special item. Vintagebelle’s get most of their items from auctions where they give them a second life. Lacombian’s voted and they said that their favourite place to shop is Red Hot Threads and Elite Bridal, followed by Oh My Garden. Lacombe has a lot of things to do both indoors and outdoors for the whole family. Both rainy and sunny days so you will not be bored. Lacombe’s Walking Paths Lacombe has a lot of walking trails, paved, dirt, around the lakes or around the historic downtown. Popular paved paths in nature are around Cranna Lake, and Henner’s Pond, and the path around Anne and Elizabeth lake is popular for unpaved paths. Take time to walk around the downtown and read the plaques on the historic buildings to learn about the historic downtown. Step back in time in our downtown back alleys to see the gorgeous murals of Lacombe painted by Tim Giles. Kraay Family Farm Hours: Summer (July-September 5, 2016): Tuesday- Saturday 10:30am- 8pm Labour Day 10:30am- 5pm Fall (September 6- October 22, 2016): Tuesday- Thursday 4-8pm Friday-Saturday 10:30am- 9pm Thanksgiving Monday 10:30am-6pm Website: www.kraayfamilyfarm.com Kraay Family Farm is fun for every age! With jumping pillows, Timber Line Adventure (Obstacle Course), farm animals, pig races, Gemstone mining, Pumpkin cannon, the corn maze and so much more, you and your family will surely be entertained for hours. Ellis Bird Farm 39502 Range Road 260, Lacombe AB. Closes September 5, 2016 for the season Tuesday-Sunday (and Holiday Mondays) 11am-5pm Website: ellisbirdfarm.ca Ellis Bird Farm is a wonderful place to visit with a tea house, lots of birds to watch and a pond with nets so that you can see what lives in the pond. There is a visitor centre where you can buy souvenirs and learn about the birds in the area. Ellis Bird Farm is the perfect spot to relax and learn about nature. Lacombe City Cinemas 4550- 50 Ave, Lacombe AB. Website: lacombecitycinemas.ca Lacombe City cinemas is the newly renovated movie theatre in Lacombe. They have all the latest movies coming in all the time. Reasonable prices for 3D and 2D movies and a great selection of snacks and drinks for you to enjoy as you relax and watch your movie. Golfing in Lacombe Lacombe Golf and Country Club 600 50 Avenue Website: www.golflacombe.com The Nursery 41101 Range Road 270 Website: nurserygolf.com Lacombe has a lot of great golf course for every skill level. The Lacombe Golf and Country Club was established in 1925 and has grown too become the best golf course it can be. With a pro shop, grass tees, practice bunker, a chipping area you will able to practise your game and make it better then before. The Nursery an 18 hole, Par 73 layout that is just under 6700 yards. Established in 1995 it is the newer golf course in town. Made from an existing 75-year-old tree nursery, with the 11th hole being the longest hole in Canada (a par 6) at 782- yard stretch. The Lacombe Museums The Flatiron Museum 5005 50 Avenue, Lacombe AB Summer Hours (June- August 2016): 7 days a week 9am- 5pm Winter Hours (September-May 2017): Tuesday- Saturday 9am- 5pm The Michener House Museum 5036 51 Street, Lacombe AB Summer Hours (July- August 2016): 7 days a week 9am -5pm Winter Hours (September-May 2017): Saturdays 9am- 5pm The Blacksmith Shop Museum 5020 49 Street, Lacombe AB. Hours for the rest of 2016: Open Saturadys from 10am-4pm July- August Culture and Harvest- September 22-25, 2016 Light Up the Night Festival November 24-26, 2016 Lacombe has three museums in town that will take you back to a simpler time. The Flatiron Museum was built in 1904 as the Merchants bank of Canada. It now is the home of the Flatiron Museum and Interpretive Centre and Lacombe Regional Tourism. The Museum has new exhibits yearly, that fit with what is happening in the world. This year (Summer 2016- Summer 2017) they have two exhibits “Catalysts for Change: Local Women and the Suffrage Movement”, in celebration of 100 years of women getting the right to vote in Alberta. The second exhibit is “The Immigration of Lacombe’s Dutch Community”, in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Dutch-Canadian Friendship. Stop in the see the museum or to get tourist information and ask the friendly workers for recommendations on what to do in Lacombe. The Michener House Museum is the oldest remaining residence in Lacombe and is the birthplace of The Right Honorable Roland Michener, 20th Governor General of Canada from 1967-1974. Come to this museum to see what people used and what your home would have looked like in about the 1915, and to learn about Roland Michener’s life and family. The Lacombe Blacksmith Shop was built in 1902 and is the oldest operational Blacksmith Shop in Alberta. Come here to learn about the blacksmith trade and see live blacksmithing demonstrations. Lacombe voted and they said that their favourite things to do in Lacombe is using the walking trails, go to Kraay Family Farm, and go to Lacombe City Cinemas to watch a movie.
“Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location” (Geocaching, 2016). There are millions of geocaches hidden around the world that are ready to be found. These geocaches may come in different types as there are over a dozen different types of geocaches. Some of these are: traditional, mystery, and multi. The traditional is the most commonly found geocache. They are 4 sizes: micro, small, medium, and large. They also come in many forms and shapes; some of the different containers we found were a fishing pole container, rainbow container, and a water bottle container. A mystery geocache is when they give you the coordinates to a puzzle and you have to solve the puzzle to get coordinates for the geocache. A multi geocache involves two or more locations, with the final location being a physical container with a log-book inside. Typically when you get to the first location, you’ll get a clue for the second one and so on. Once you find the geocache, you sign the logbook and switch an item with a treasure you pick from the geocache. This turns the game into the treasure hunt! Then you log all your findings online, whether you found the geocache or not. You may also find a trackable in a geocache. This is an item that has a code on it where it monitors everywhere the trackable goes. You log this on the geocache website and then you can see where the trackable has been! You also log what geocache you put the trackable in so people know where the trackable is. We found this trackable, his name is Jake’s Racer and he started out in the USA. Now he’s touring around Canada! We put him into another geocache and someone else will pick him up and help him tour around the world. In Lacombe and around Lacombe County there are many geocaches just waiting to be found. Log onto geocaching.com and let the fun begin! Tell us about your geocaching adventures on Facebook and Twitter! Share with us when you find the geocaches that we placed!
Ellis Bird Farm Adventures
On this beautiful day we decided to take a trip out to the Ellis Bird Farm! Our day commenced by taking a self-guided tour around the farm. We started our tour at the ponds and saw some baby ducks; they were so cute! You can also see the handiwork of beavers who use to call the pond their home. Our next stop was the gazebo, where it was very peaceful to sit and take in the picturesque surroundings and get some beautiful photos. Next we were off to the butterfly gardens! These gardens are filled with butterflies, bees, and even some hummingbirds. We then ventured off to the Wetland Centre where they have nets for children and adults to use to see what you can catch in the wetland! We didn’t find anything, but I’m sure the next time we visit we will have better luck. The farm has one of the few farm sized grain elevators still standing today, so we had to go in and look around. It was really neat! Before continuing on with our self-guided tour, we stopped by the visitor centre to ask them our numerous questions. The staff were delighted to see us and they were happy to ask all of our questions. Here we saw that they had a gift shop with a lot of wonderful trinkets and treats to buy. They mentioned that they had goats and chickens to play with! So of course that was our next stop. The baby goats and chicks were so cute, they put a smile on everyone’s faces. After our adventures around the farm, we were starting to get hungry. So off to the Tea House! The staff were wonderful and efficient. The food tasted just like grandmas! There are so many things to do and see at The Ellis Bird Farm. We had such a great time! We’d love to hear about your visit to the Ellis Bird Farm, share with us on Facebook or Twitter!
Summer Students’ Adventure: The Michener House Museum
On this rainy day we decided that it was the perfect time to stop by the Michener House Museum! The staff members that welcomed us were delightfully friendly and helpful. We started off our tour with demonstrations of heritage trades. Both Kim and Rebecca demonstrated methods of spinning wool. Kim demonstrated the drop spindle; it looked quite difficult and really time consuming. Rebecca demonstrated how the spinning wheel works. The spinning wheel was much faster spinning wool than the drop spindle. The next stop in our tour was the pump organ, gramophone and the kitchen! It was neat to see what a house would look like in the early years of Lacombe. The Kitchen had a lot of neat artifacts that showed what people used to cook and clean in the early 1900’s. The final stop on our tour was having an insight into Roland Michener’s personal life and his career. They had a lot of artifacts from Roland Michener’s life, we got to see his family photos, his tri pointed hat from when he was speaker in the Canadian Parliament and even the bed he was born on! He was a very intelligent man! Make sure you stop by the Michener House Museum between 9-5 to see all the amazing things and have an amazing time like we did! Goodbye Roland Michener, until next time!
A Saturday for All at the Bentley Town and Country Fair!
Summer Saturdays are typically busy days in the quaint town of Bentley, but the annual Town and Country Fair draws a broad crowd of visitors from far and near. On fair-weekend Saturday, the town extensively prepared a full day of activities for the fun seekers! Bright and early, the pancake breakfast began and provided fair-goers with the energy needed to partake in the day of activities! Throughout the day, the crowds had the choice to be entertained by many events and sights. As usual, the Kroozin’ West Show & Shine was a major hit. The classic cars and trucks and hot rods of sorts sparked the interest and envy of all who gazed upon them. The Bentley museum welcomed visitors all day as well, and provided the fair-goers with noteworthy facts about the town and its history. In the late afternoon, the streets of Bentley slowly emptied, but the bleachers of the curling arena filled as the anticipated rodeo events drew closer. Precisely at 5:00 PM the melodies of O’ Canada signified the start of the rodeo. The captivated crowd cheered energetically for all the cowboys and cowgirls who handled the steer or bull or horse’s capricious behaviour with ease. As the rodeo finished, the energized fair-goers once again returned to the streets to be dazzled by the fireworks. Each illuminating crack and bang not only signified the treasured memories of past fairs, but also applauded the success of the 2015 Bentley Town and Country Fair. But don’t be sad, there’s only 363 days until next year’s fair!
The Fortieth Year of Fun!
This August long-weekend marked the 40th annual rodeo at Tees! Once a year, many rodeo-goers gather at the grounds for three days of fun, amusement, and entertainment! The final evening of the rodeo was arguably the most anticipated night. Once the regulation awards were handed to the best men and women of each event, the fun began! The first event out of the gates was the Wild Pony Races. Teams of three young cowboys and cowgirls line up at the chutes along side a feisty pony. This team must try to tame the pony long enough for one of the riders to get on for a two-jump ride. The team with the fastest time wins! The Men’s Costumed Barrel Racing is quickly becoming one of the favourite events of many rodeo go-ers. It’s not the swiftest time that matters, it’s the best dressed who triumphs! These cowboys motor so quickly that it’s hard to catch a full glimpse of their attire, but the flashes of colour and streamers are enough to make the crowds go wild. Following the events the announcer signed off for 2015, and crowds followed the delicious scent of the barbecue towards the steak dinner. For only $20.00, guests were offered a grilled cut of prime Alberta beef, potatoes and salad. A meal for true cowboys. As everyone was seated, the band played both old favourites and new favourites. As music poured into the night, rodeo go-ers danced, sang and celebrated another successful weekend and toasted to many more.
Alberta Open Farm Days 2015
Alberta Open Farm Days is about farmers and ranchers inviting their urban and rural neighbours to stop in for a visit to share stories, see demonstrations, and learn more about the farmers who grow their food. As well, some of Alberta’s most talented chefs and rural communities will be hosting a memorable series of farm to table culinary events that will be held around the province on August 22, using Alberta farm products. Farms across the province will open their gates on August 23. Admission is free. Join us and explore Alberta this summer. (Alberta Open Farm Days , 2015) Last year’s Open Farm Days had a lot of great hosts from Lacombe County including the Lacombe Blacksmith shop, Little Cherries on the Prairies, Flying Cross Ranch, Billy Co. Junction, Ellis Bird Farm, and Brown Eggs & Lamb. From horses, cows, lambs and piglets to cherries, Bird box building, pond dipping, and summer treats there was something to do all week end long! With something for every age group, it was truly fun for the whole family! This year we once again have hosts from all over Lacombe County, with all of the events happening on Sunday, August 23, you and your farm can have a full day of rural experiences. This year’s hosts include Bles Wold Farm, Ellis Bird Farm, Flying Cross Ranch, Garry Peterson Farms, Lacombe Blacksmith Shop and Little Cherries on the Prairie At Bles Wold Farms you can see and learn about calves, cows, feeding, and equipment. There will even be delicious locally made yogurt for you to taste. Ellis Bird Farm you will find regular activities include birdwatching, exploring the gardens and woods, enjoying the “petting zoo” goats, sheep and chickens, building bird boxes, pond dipping (for aquatic insects), visiting the interpretive centres to learn about the history of the farm and the local wildlife. If you haven’t been to Ellis Bird Farm this is an experience you will not want to miss! Old Country Fair complete with family entertainment, livestock, and old fashioned country fun can be found at the Flying Cross Ranch! There will also be Face painting, a petting zoo, pony rides, learn how to throw a rope like a cowboy, take home your name on branded on a piece of wood. Check out the vendors at our country market. It will be fun for the whole family! Visitors to Hidden Valley Garden will have the opportunity to u-pick a wide variety of vegetables and berries. The owners will be on hand to answer questions about producing vegetables and how to harvest and store produce. See Garry’s 2 cylinder John Deere tractor collection and other farm equipment at Garry Peterson’s Farm. Over 60 tractors and engines will be on display, ranging in year from 1924 to 1960! Hear the anvil ring and watch as dedicated blacksmiths and apprentices bring to life the oldest operational blacksmith shop in Alberta. T Blacksmithing demos will take place all day from 11am-4pm. Meet our blacksmiths at the Lacombe Blacksmith Shop and learn about this traditional craft that was once integral to the farming community in Alberta. At Little Cherries on the Prairie you will experience, orchard tour with free samples of fruit, fresh and processed. Product will be available for purchase. Learn More!
Coors: One Horse Town Contests!
Bring a world class concert to Lacombe this September by voting for the city in the One Horse Town contest. After over 1000 entries, Lacombe and Shelburne, Ont. are the top 2 finalist in the Coors “One Horse Town”. Show your pride in community as well as the spirit of Alberta and vote for Lacombe starting on August 3rd. Voting continues until the 17th of August with the winner announced on August 24th, 2015. The winner will ultimately play host to a once in a lifetime concert experience featuring Tim Hicks and the Road Hammers on September 18. Tim Hicks: Tim Hick is a Canadian Born County Music Singer, with many nominations and awards under his belt. In 2013, after 200,000-plus downloads, Hicks became the #1 highest selling digital Canadian Country Artist of the Year as well as the Most Played Debut Artist overall at Country radio. Since, Hicks has been honoured with a 2013 CCMA Award nomination for Rising Star, 2014 JUNO nominations for Breakthrough Artist and Country Album of the Year, a 2014 Canadian Radio Music Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year, 2014 CCMA Rising Star winner, and a Country Music Association of Ontario Award for Male Artist of the Year. This year he is a 2015 CCMA (Canadian Country Music Awards) Nominee for Album of the Year; For his newest album 5:01, Male Artist of the year, Interactive Artist of the year, Album Design of the year (5:01) and Producer of the year (Jeff Coplan, 5:01). The Road Hammers: The Road Hammers are a Canadian country music group composed of Jason McCoy, Clayton Bellamy and Chris Byrne. Formed by McCoy as a side project, the trio’s music is influenced by 1960s and 1970s trucker music and Southern rock. The Road Hammers have years of nomination and awards to their names, including Nominations and awards from the CCMA; Juno Nominations and awards. Some of their awards include Group or Duo of the year, in 2005 & 2006, CMT video if the year for their song East Bound and Down from the CCMAs and County Recording of the Year in 2006 from the Juno Awards.The Road Hammers are also CCMA Nominees for Group of the Year! Having these to groups come to our small city would be a great honor, so make sure you vote! For more information and to vote go to: Click Here to Vote!
Talk Derby to Me!
This past week the Flying Cross Ranch hosted three fundraising events in conjunction with the Friends of Flying Cross Ranch Society. The evenings consisted of live horse racing, a murder mystery production, silent and live auctions rounded off with a scrumptious steak dinner. The horse racing was facilitated by the “Young Jockeys” program of Flying Cross Ranch and provided exciting entertainment for the spectators and betters alike, running five races per evening. The murder mystery performances were fun and well executed by a lively group of young actors and actresses from the Zap Theatre Group, who interacted with the audience and brought everyone in to the production. The smaller venue was integral in making the spectator feel a real participant in the action. Throughout the evening the actors took part in the events making you feel apart of the performances. Talking to the spectators telling them their back stories, as you watched the races you could also watch the murder mystery unfold! Many thanks to sponsors Flying Cross Ranch, Canadian Collision, The Vintage Belle, Head Hunters, Breeze Photography, Strand Printing, Scholings Potatoes, Pik n Pak, Willygreen Oilfield Services, Busted Horn Contracting and Zap Theatre! An additional thank you to “Friends of Flying Cross Ranch” and all the individual donors of gifts and deserts for the auction This event raises funds for the Friends of Flying Cross Ranch Society, which aims to provide affordable riding lessons for children as well as many life skills that can be gained from working with horses.
Music in the Park
On June 3rd the very popular Music in the Park will return for its second season on Wednesday evenings in Lest We Forget Park on the south side of the Lacombe Memorial Centre. Judging from the great success of last year’s program, Music in the Park will again be a favorite for all ages, offering a wide variety of musical entertainment from Old Time Rock and Roll, to Dixie Land, Folk, Jazz and Rhythm & Blues. “Music in the Park offers an opportunity for residents of Lacombe and many summer visitors to enjoy an evening of entertainment and experience a wide range of musical styles. It is also provides a venue for local and regional musicians to showcase their talent and gain exposure to a new and varied audience” says booking coordinator Lann Lieurance. “We have been fortunate to secure very high quality performers for Music in the Park, some of whom travel from as far away as Calgary and beyond. This year we not only have many of the popular acts returning, but a large number of new performers who we are looking forward to hosting. We are very grateful that the musicians value the experience here in Lacombe and look forward to being part of the Music in the Park program. This year, Music in the Park will kick off one month early, starting June 3rd, thanks to the support and sponsorship of the Lacombe Community Market. The Community Market will also start on June 3rd in its outside venue on the east side of Lacombe Memorial Area, running from 4:30 to 8:30 every Wednesday evening until the end of August. Music in the Park was started last year by the Lacombe Performing Arts Center and the C4 Initiative Committee to promote arts and culture in the City of Lacombe. Receiving one time funding from the City of Lacombe for its initial year in 2014, the program ran through July and August. Last year the audience numbers ranged from 200 – 500. In turn, the committee was very appreciative of the generosity of the audiences and was able to use donations at the concerts to start up this summer’s performances. There are still a few concerts that are available for sponsorship opportunities but overall the organizers are encouraged by the strong support for this popular program. Music in the Park runs June to August, every Wednesday starting at 6:30 in Lest We Forget Park. . Everyone is invited to bring their lawn chairs and picnic blankets to the park, enjoy the beautiful weather, good friends and an evening of free entertainment. The only change to this schedule will be on July 1st, when there will be a Canada Day Concert at Cranna Lake starting at 7:30 in the evening to be followed by fireworks. Ellen Corea Music in the Park Committee 403-782-2224 cell: 403-598-1731 Musician Websites: Flashback Freddie Jeremy Doody Randi Boulton Tap 9
Lacombe mural walk
We’re going on a mural hunt! Take the family on a mural hunt through historic downtown Lacombe. Fresh fall days are a great time to explore all the murals that decorate the downtown’s alleyways. You’ll be having so much fun that you might not even notice you’re also learning all about what life was like a hundred years ago. Lacombe’s mural artist Tim Giles is a local artist, who moved to the town in 2003 and began creating the downtown murals in 2004. He works from archival photos of the town and often incorporates elements of the buildings into the paintings. His realistic scenes tell the story daily life here between the 1890s and 1930s. The town’s beginnings The first set of 20 murals shows what life was like in the town between 1890 and 1910. Begin your journey behind the street mall on 52 St – across from the Memorial Centre – and follow the laneway east to the Royal Bank on 50 St. You’ll see the town’s original train station and old steam trains, a memorable fire, famous residents, historic homesteads, inside the pool hall and lots of horses. A big mural of Nanton Street on 50 St shows the town’s original commercial buildings – compare it to how the street looks now and you’ll find many buildings still look the same. Lacombe in the 1930s Across the street, in the laneway behind the Bank of Montreal, you’ll begin your journey through Lacombe in the Thirties. These panoramic murals cover 12,000 square feet of wall space and show main street businesses, diesel trains at the station and lots of cool old vintage cars. Walking tours Everyday during the summer and by appointment the rest of the year, you can take a guided walking tour of the murals. By going with a guide, you’ll hear the interesting facts and fascinating stories behind the murals – and also get a tour around Lacombe’s six designated provincial historic buildings and concentration of preserved Edwardian architecture. You can also pick up a self-guided walking tour of the murals at any of the town’s three museums: the historic Flatiron Museum, the Michener House Museum and the Blacksmith Shop Museum.
Lacombe Culture and Harvest Fest
Shop, eat, learn and play Fall brings an abundant farm harvest, lots of learning and squeezing a little more fun out of the still warm days. Celebrate the season with Lacombe at their annual fall event – the Lacombe Culture and Harvest Festival, Friday, Sep 26 to Sunday, Sep 28. Shop, eat, learn and play – plan your chockfull weekend of fun with the full festival schedule here. Farm fresh fun On Friday, the festival kicks off with the Lacombe Farmer’s Market from 9–1. Stroll the tables at the Barnett Arena and you’ll find and abundance of local fruits and vegetables, fresh-baked goodies and handmade crafts. Then head out to the Kraay Family Farm to play on the gigantic jumping pillows, cheer on piggy races and settle down with popcorn and mini-donuts at dusk for a family movie. The farm’s 15-acre steam-train themed corn maze is also open all weekend. Learn about farm life Drop by the Ag Grounds on Saturday afternoon for sheep shearing and wool spinning demos by Brown Eggs and Lamb. Sign up for cheese-making and fermenting classes with The Green Pantry on Saturday. And join their farm tour on Sunday afternoon to explore a local goat farm, a yogurt dairy and a spray-free greenhouse. A town full of culture Watch local teams compete in a fun and friendly community rodeo at 6 pm on Friday. Or, think you can ride a stick-horse or milk a goat – then get your friends together and enter a team yourself. Browse local art and photography exhibits and sign up for drawing workshops at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. The community’s best singers perform at the Lacombe’s Got Talent concert on Friday night and local dance students bring Disney to life at the LMC Sunday at 1 pm. Or register for a traditional Japanese tea ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Lacombe’s rich history See how the town has evolved since 1900 at the Flatiron museum’s I love Main Street photography exhibit. Watch blacksmithing demonstrations at historic Blacksmith shop museum – the oldest operational blacksmith in the province. Join the Lacombe Vintage Machine Club as they show off an old time thrashing machine, tractor-powered mill and a display of other antique farm equipment at the Ag Grounds. Explore the town’s historic architecture on a guided historical walking tour from Michener House on Saturday at 2 – or take a leisurely self-guided tour during Doors Open Lacombe, 11–4 on Saturday and peek inside the community’s historic gems at your own pace. Lots of playing too All weekend, from Friday at 4 pm to Sunday at 11 pm, big kids can ride the midway at Alberta Downs. Or bring your little ones to run around the Children’s County Fair at the LMC’s Centennial Hall on Saturday afternoon – and maybe after that they’ll feel like sitting down already for the children’s concert at 3 pm.
Play all day at the Kraay Family Farm
Fourteen kinds of farm-fresh fun Play comes naturally to little kids – give them space and they’ll just run – sometimes in circles until they’re dizzy. But as kids grow big, you need to remind them of their love of play by taking them to safe, busy places like the Kraay Family Farm, home of the Lacombe Corn Maze and super-fun all-day playground. Here are 14 ways to play all the live-long day at the farm. Images from the Kraay Farm on Facebook. 1. Run, run, run The farm’s corn maze is 15 acres big and features a new design every year. It take about an hour and a half to run the full corn maze – but if you have little ones, or need an ice cream break, there are a couple of exits at the beginning of each phase. Big kids can take on the twisty-turny maze after dark by flashlight or by the light of a full moon. 2. Jump The farm has two giant jumping pillows this year, so there’s plenty of room for all the kids who like to bounce – actually, that’s all of them. And yep – you’re allowed to bounce too, Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa. 3. Climb Climb up and over the rope spider web then scale prairie-style mountains made out of giant tires. Climbers use muscles all over their body and practice their balance too. But mostly it’s just fun. 4. Drive Take a turn on the mini-John Deere tractors on a trail through the corn and steer your speedy pedal cart through a big metal tunnel on the dirt racetrack. 5. Play pretend Work your imagination and play pretend in the farm’s kid-sized crooked fairy tale houses. You be daddy kitty, I’ll be mama kitty and little sis can play our baby dinosaur. Roar! 6. Swing Take a spin around and around and around on the tire horse carousel. (Ok, Mom, if you get Dad to push – this is where you get a little breather. Enjoy it.) 7. Meet critters Visit the petting zoo to meet Brownie the goat and her spring baby and Jackson, a pig who sits for treats – plus ducks, bunnies, chickens, sheep and a donkey. 8. Cheer and clap Root for your favourite little curly-tail during the farm’s piggy races – twice a day in the summer. And settle down for just a couple of minutes to watch the animatronic chicken show. 9. Ride trains Attention junior engineers – trains are a big deal here at the farm too. Take the popular grain train around the corn maze, ride the barrel train and the corn maze is in the shape of an Alberta Prairie Railway steam train. (Train rides are two tokens a ride.) 10. Make stuff go boom! Aim and fire the corn blaster at a big old bus and completely annihilate an innocent wonky-shaped pumpkin with the pumpkin cannon in the fall. (Corn cannon is two shots for a token, pumpkins are 1 token per try.) 11. Slide One, two, three, four, five slides all in a row. Go side-by-side on the giant yellow slides then run back up to try the tube slides. Repeat. 12. Golf Putt around the dinosaur-themed 18-hole mini-golf – golf is included in admission, just sign out your clubs at the Corn-er store. 13. Find treasure Buy a bag in the store then head over to the gemstone mine and wash it in the bubbling rainwater sluice to reveal precious gemstones, golden nuggets and other fantastic treasures. 14. Eat All that playing is going to give you a good appetite. Luckily the farm sells ice cream, kettle popcorn, hot dogs and deep-fried pickles. New food this year includes mini-donuts, cotton candy and fresh roasted nuts. Or you can bring a picnic, cook out over a firepit or rent a BBQ. Grand opening party The farm opens for their 15th season on July 25 and they are throwing a grand opening party on the August long weekend and special events all season long (so keep an eye on KraayFamilyFarm.com for dates). Play all summer from 10:30 to 8 pm, Mon to Sat including holiday Mondays. Head 10 minutes west of Lacombe on Hwy 12 then south on range road 273.
Heritage walking tours
Find your way to Lacombe’s history Lacombe’s historic downtown has six provincially designated heritage buildings, historical murals and the largest concentration of in tact Edwardian architecture in the province. Take a summer walking tour to hear the stories of our past from an expert guide. Flatiron Museum image from Lacombe Regional Tourism on Facebook. Downtown walking tours Join a downtown walking tour from the Michener House museum every day in July and August at 2 pm. Your guides – in authentic pioneer costume and in character – will lead you through historic downtown and past detailed murals based on archival photos of the city. On the hour-long tour, you’ll hear stories of how the town began, its founders and early pioneer life. You’ll end the tour at the Flatiron Museum’s new photo exhibit all about Lacombe’s early main street. Daily tours are $10 per person and kids under 16 are free. Heritage home tour, Aug 23 Come to Lacombe on Saturday, August 23 to peek inside some of the city’s heritage homes. Pick up your self-guided tour map at Michener House at 1 pm, tour the homes then meet up for tea from 3–5 pm. Tickets to the home tour are $25 per person – available at Michener House and the Flatiron museum or the day of the tour. Take in history while you shop and eat Browse antique shops and used bookstores downtown. Admire the mural outside then have a coffee on the deck at Kavaccino’s or try traditional scones at the historic Stopping House teahouse. Or have pie on the garden patio at Morrison House in a heritage home built by one of the town’s first mayors in 1919. And dine on homemade local food – we are in the lip-smacking middle of Alberta’s food basket – at Salt in historic Kent House.
Lacombe Days, July 17–20
Join the town-wide party For four jam-packed days each July, the community of Lacombe comes together to throw Lacombe Days – a huge town-wide party. Come for the day or the whole weekend – to eat, play, shop, listen to music, learn about history and see the work of all the local artists that live here. Parade image from Lacombe Days on Facebook. For the kids The youth festival starts downtown on Thursday, July 17 with skateboarding, road hockey, live music and more food – then stick around until dusk for the drive-in movie in the Boston Pizza parking lot. Play games at the indoor kids carnival on Friday, July 18 at the Barnett Arena ($5) and at the jumping jack carnival in the Lacombe Memorial Centre on Saturday, July 19. Then come back for the old time penny carnival on Sunday from 1–3 pm. Museums are open all weekend The Flatiron Museum is open Thursday night for a family tour of the I love Main Street exhibit and activities for the kids. The Flatiron building, built in 1904, and Michener House are open all weekend with downtown walking tours of the murals and historic buildings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And the oldest working blacksmith shop in Alberta is open Saturday and Sunday too with metalworking demonstrations. Saturday is parade day The popular Lacombe Days parade winds its way through downtown at 10 am on Saturday featuring floats, vintage cars and street performers. A one-man band and stilt-walkers will stick around downtown after the parade too. Pancakes, steak and BBQ Thursday kicks off with a BBQ at 11 hosted by local radio DJs and each morning from Friday to Sunday, come early for pancake breakfasts all around town. You can also munch on homemade baking and locally grown produce at the farmer’s market on Friday at the arena. The beer gardens opens Friday night and runs all weekend at Michener Park and buy your tickets for the steak fry and cabaret on Saturday night at the LMC. Music, art and machines Jammin in the park on Friday night will feature live local music and fireworks after dark in Michener Park. And Japanese drummers will play on Saturday from 2–3 at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. Outside the LMC, browse local art in the park – and inside, the quilt exhibit and the rose and lily show will be in full swing. Machine-loving kids and their big people will have lots to see this year too – the show and shine of vintage and classic cars runs on Saturday in the LMC parking lot from 10–3. And the Lacombe vintage machinery club will set up their displays at the Ag Grounds on Saturday and Sunday. Sports and animals All weekend Michener Park will be the scene of a big softball tournament – and demonstrations by the medieval club. And Sunday, July 20, the Lacombe half marathon will, ahem, run at the Athletic Park. Sunday, visit the Ag Grounds for a light horse show and the LMC for dog agility shows at 1 and 3 pm. All weekend, the Canadian Simmental Association will hold their wild rose classic junior cattle shows – and something called the cowpie Olympics, which sounds like a hoot. Learn more >> See the Lacombe Days Event Page.
The Ellis Bird Farm
A home for mountain bluebirds – 20 minutes SE of Lacombe The Ellis Bird Farm is a working farm and bird sanctuary for tree swallows, mountain bluebirds and native cavity nesters. Kids love the bird and bug themed festivals, running the trail and eating grilled cheese in the tea house. Admission to the farm is by donation. Nesting box image from the Ellis Bird Farm’s photo gallery. 60 years of nature conservancy In the early 1950s, Charlie Ellis – our Mr. Bluebird – started hanging nesting boxes on his family farm just outside Lacombe. Soon he and his sister Winnie had a collection of 300 boxes around the perimeter of the property and created a sanctuary for all kinds of local wildlife. Today the farm has the world’s largest outdoor collection of bluebird nest boxes – plus beaver ponds, beautiful butterfly gardens, baby goats and a nature trail. Special days to visit Come for the Bluebird Festival on July 12 and eat lunch, listen to live music and shop at the market. You can probably guess that you’ll also learn all about the mountain bluebirds that live here and for $5 you can build your own nesting box to take home. The annual Bug Jamboree draws 300 nature lovers to listen to John Acorn sing his nature songs, learn about insects and spiders and build a nesting box of your very own. This year, the jamboree runs on Aug 9 from 1–3 pm. They also offer photography workshops, interpretive nature walks and kids day camps throughout the summer. Eat local at the tea house The tea house serves home-cooked food from Lacombe’s local farms including Billyco Junction, Branson Family Gardens, Markerville Berry and Vegetable Farm and Country Thyme Farm. You’ll find fresh salads, wholesome soups and sandwiches on fresh baked bread. Kids love the grilled cheese, chicken and cheese wrap and of course, ice cream. Planning a birthday? Birthday partiers at the farm will build a bird box, make tree cookies, see what’s in the pond, play games about nature, learn about bats and owls and check a bird box for babies. The cost is $10 per child (min $50) and includes the bird box, gift bags and programming.
Camps and campgrounds
Days at the beach, nights by the fire You sit by the campfire roasting marshmallows and watching the stars. The kids have run themselves silly at the beach all day and are deep in their dreams. The air is fresh, the company is great, life is good. Come to the Lacombe region and stay at one of more than 20 campgrounds and RV parks – the hardest part will be picking one. Browse all of the region’s campgrounds to find the right fit – or just come back 20 times. Image from Summerland Leisure Park on Facebook. Bentley and Gull Lake Gull Lake is a popular place for a weekend on the sandy beach. Bentley’s Lacombe Legion Sunset Campground is great for families with 113 sites, two big playgrounds, horseshoe pits and swimming on the sandy beach. The Summerland Leisure Park has large well-spaced sites for big RVs, a driving range, mini golf and a new playground. Bentley Municipal has 33 sites right in town – bike the trails to the beach and walk to the Saturday farmer’s market. Wilson’s Beach is on the east shore of Gull Lake – bring your tent or RV and fish all day. Aspen Beach Provincial Park Brewers Campground in Aspen Beach Provincial Park is rustic and secluded. The sites have no power, but are close to the big warm shallow beach, concession, bathrooms and showers. Book ahead for these popular spots – they fill up fast. Come with a group Burbank Park and Hall in Blackfalds has 22 sites and 4 group camping sites. Baseball, basketball, canoeing, fishing, a playground and two day-use areas along the Blindman and Red Deer Rivers. Hey you big family of baseball lovers – Michener Park in Lacombe is close to six diamonds and four more at Kinsmen close by. Park at one of 37 serviced sites or tent at an unserviced spot nestled in the trees. Golf, sleep, golf Haunted Lakes in Alix is a 9-hole golf course and campground with 26 power sites, playground, horse shoes and fire pits (bring your own wood). Stay at Last Hill Golf in Eckville – play 18 holes, sun on the clubhouse deck, more golf, then back to your big fully serviced RV spot for dinner – BBQs are available too. Family getaway Ol’ MacDonald’s Resort is a huge family campground on the shallow sandy shores of Buffalo Lake. The resort has a restaurant, store, arcade, mini golf, hay rides, a theatre, a train and big gooey cinnamon buns. Cowboy day camp Now that you have your place to stay – sign up for a cowboy day camp at Flying Cross Ranch. Learn to rope, ride and barrel race. Or register for a three-day adult weekend camp and spend the weekend grooming, saddling and riding your new thousand-pound best friend. The Gull Lake Centre also runs Christian summer camps and has RV parking.
Lacombe: Alberta’s Mural Capital
Proud of its roots, Lacombe has literally ‘painted the town’ with images showcasing its history. Murals by artist Tim Giles adorn the sides and backs of buildings throughout the historic downtown area and depict local street scenes drawn from archival photographs. Lacombe’s downtown boasts six Designated Provincial Historic Buildings and the most intact concentration of Edwardian Buildings in Alberta. Lacombe’s downtown murals depict life in the county between 1890 and 1910, and showcase it’s history, growth, and beauty. Experience the sights and history of Lacombe by taking a Guided Walking Tour of the murals and Lacombe’s beautiful historic downtown or pick up a Self-Guided Walking Tour brochure or booklet at the Museums. For more information about the walking tour visit mhma3.blogspot.ca. Learn more about the mural project at www.lacombe.ca Self-Guided Mural Tour Self-Guided Heritage Home Tour