1913 Days returns this weekend, though it will look different than in years past. This year, in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions, there will not be a parade or some other favourite events. (File Photo)

1913 Days returns this weekend, though it will look different than in years past. This year, in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions, there will not be a parade or some other favourite events. (File Photo)

Softer version of 1913 Days returns to Sylvan Lake this weekend

1913 Days is returning with a different look as the community begins to comes out of the pandemic

It has been two years since 1913 Days was celebrated in Sylvan Lake. The event which celebrates the founding of the town was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On June 18-20 the event is making its return, though in a smaller “softer” way.

After a year with practically no events or ways for the community to gather, the Town felt now was a good time to start transitioning back to an almost normal routine.

Piper McArthur, special events coordinator with the Town of Sylvan Lake, said that this year’s 1913 Days will look different from past events.

“It is a softer version with fewer events and activities… We wanted to bring back that connection to our community and a sense of normalcy again,” she said.

“We knew there was a want for some sort of celebration, and thought this would be a great way to start bringing that back.”

The annual 1913 Days festival is often looked at as the kick off for the summer festival season and often includes many events that invoke nostalgia.

While many of those favourite events, like the parade, are not happening this year, McArthur says the events planned still hold true to the nostalgic feel of the festival celebrating the town’s birthday.

Carriage rides by the lake and a drive-in movie are the two events holding true to the old time feeling of the festival.

Space for both the carriage rides and the drive-in movie are limited, in accordance to pubic health restrictions.

To keep the numbers limited for these events, the Town is selling tickets. Each has a ticket price of $22.

McArthur says this helps to offset the cost of holding the event while also keeping the gathering size smaller.

“We wanted to bring that connection and sense of community back while keeping to the current restrictions,” she said, adding the event was planned with Alberta Health Service to ensure they met all the requirements.

Also during 1913 Days will be a sidewalk sale for downtown businesses. According to McArthur, the sale was a way for the Town to bring the event to local businesses and encourage the business community during a difficult time.

The Town is also hosting a virtual map of garage sales being held around town during the weekend of 1913 Days.

“We are pretty excited to facilitate this for residents. [The map] is something we heard locals wanted so we are hosting it for them.”

1913 Days is being held June 18-20. Tickets for the horse and carriage rides can be purchased online for $22 per family.

The drive in movie is a screening of Jurassic Park and will begin at 10 p.m. on June 19 in the Canadian Tire parking lot. Tickets can be purchased online for $22 per vehicle.

More information about the event can be found on the Town’s website, www.sylvanlake.ca.

“We hope this will be the start of more events coming back to town,” said McArthur.

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