For more than two hours on Saturday afternoon, there was the sound of joyful children outside the Family Church.
The annual “back-to-school” party drew a large crowd of fun-seekers determined to make the most of the wonderful late-summer weather.
It is estimated more than 300 people showed up. What they found was a mini-carnival on a section of Jasper Street, by the junction with 5th Avenue, and the areas either side.
A highlight was the dunk tank, which saw no shortage of volunteers prepared to fall into chilly water … all for the cause of a new swimming pool. By 5pm, when the party was winding down, $300 had been raised.
Other attractions included face-painting, wagon rides, a minute-to-win-it tournament, bouncy castles, balloon pop and Plinko, popcorn, cotton candy, barbequed hotdogs, and prizes galore.
New this year was a toddler zone, while the sight of pedal tractors going up and down tarmac was very familiar.
The tractors were created from recycled metal by Allan Jacobs and his brothers, who grew up on a farm in Manitoba and loved to tinker.
Allan, who comes from Medicine Hat and was at Saturday’s event with his assistant Dave Tracey, says he and his twin brother, Alvan, still enjoy competing to create the perfect model.
Their toys, from Pedal Tractor Farm, owned and operated by Jacobs Welding Ltd, can be ridden by young and old, they say. Allan says he has proof of this: his grandchildren, aged 3 and 6, and his 98-year-old father enjoy taking the tractors for a spin.
Connie Phillips, who played a lead role in organizing the back-to-school party and performed face-painting duties, said she was delighted with the success of the free event.
“It was awesome,” she said. “The kids had a lot of fun.”
Pastor Paul Martens, from Family Church, said the good weather had been a blessing.
“We love to be able to do this, it adds value to the community,” he said.
Pastor Martens thanked the volunteers who made the event possible.