Telling the story of my life in my home - Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer Solstice 2011


Well, people, I did it again. I went to an event I'd never attended before, and once again was utterly blown away by it. I find myself often having to talk myself into getting into my car to drive to these things - there's the traffic, of course, and it's just easier to stay home. Once there, though, I am always so incredibly happy that I came because it just seems to lighten my spirit and renew my faith in this city's big spirit. The event this time? Summer Solstice 2011 at Keyano College, of course.

I have no reason to have never attended before, but I can guarantee this first time won't be my last. I arrived at the Keyano parking lot yesterday at about 4:45, and the event was already in full swing despite the rather iffy weather. What impressed me were all the families milling about - adults and children and babies and grandparents all out enjoying the event together. They had all come to welcome the beginning of summer, and people, this is going to be one helluva summer in Fort Mac so ushering it in seemed a fine idea.


The site map gives you an idea of the focus of this event. It's very family-friendly, and truly designed to appeal to a wide variety of city residents. There are bouncy castles...


And bridge building...


Free-for-all sidewalk chalk art...



And games...




Dancing on stage by the Keyano dancers...


And dancing in front of the stage by perhaps-future Keyano dancers...


Stilt walkers...



And there is so much more, like free hot dogs and hamburgers, drinks, and cookies, free music, goodie bags for the kids, and just being out on a beautiful spring-turning-to-summer afternoon and evening.

More than all this, though, is that pervasive community spirit I am sensing more and more often at these events. Residents come out, rain or shine, to enjoy the activities. They see old friends, and maybe meet new ones. Their children run around and play and dance. They bond to each other, and they bond to this city. Perhaps the Summer Solstice has always had this community feeling, and I can't say as I've never been before. I felt it so strongly, however, and it seems to be building into something stronger at every event I attend. I can't say if it's the city's community spirit growing or just my own but it seems that every day brings yet another reason to feel optimistic and positive about this place we call home. I feel this region beginning to coalesce into the true community that I think it is destined to be - a community of those who are proud to call it our city, and who embrace every chance to celebrate living here.

So, to those who organized, sponsored, volunteered at, performed at, and otherwise were involved in Summer Solstice 2011: Thank you. Thank you for providing an event to welcome a summer that is full of excitement and possibility for the RMWB. Thank you for contributing to the community and to that sense of our community coming together. Thank you for once again opening this blogger's eyes to all the wonderful events and people in this region. Thank you for giving those of us in Fort Mac a reason to celebrate once again, and to welcome a summer that is sure to be one to remember.



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