Maple Creek can look forward to a 2022 summer of fun.
As the community learns to live with COVID-19, several marquee events are being lined up.
• Heritage Festival, tentatively fixed for Saturday, July 9; the idea is to tie it in with Historic Places Day (July 8-31), which is hosted by National Trust for Canada. Public input will be sought for the festival;
• Cowtown Classic Futurity & Derby, a Western Canada barrel racing event at the rodeo grounds, between 7am on Friday, July 15 and 7.30pm on Sunday, July 17;
• “Celebrate Maple Creek” festival, set for Saturday, August 20; and
• The 21st Creek Classics Show ‘N’ Shine in the grounds of the Jasper Cultural & Historical Centre on Saturday, August 20.
Details are still being worked on, and the public is urged to look out for updates.
It has already been announced that the Nekaneet is planning a Pow Wow at the Maple Creek Community Arena in early August. The Nekaneet wants the whole community to attend.
Other traditional events could also be in the pipeline, including a Canada Day celebration at the Jasper Centre.
This year the holiday falls on July 1.
“We are thinking of holding a summer barbecue and perhaps other events and activities,” said Donn White, board chair on Tuesday. “These have still to be determined.”
Confirmation is also awaited on whether the much-anticipated “Showdown in Cowtown” will go ahead this year.
In March 2020, plans for the three-day extravaganza of bull-riding, Indian relay racing, and rodeos were unveiled by Cowtown Productions and the Ag Society. The July event would also have featured a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Southwestern Sask Oldtimers’ Museum Association and the Maple Creek & District Chamber of Commerce parade.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, put the plans on indefinite hold.
On Monday, Tyler Cronkhite, chairperson of Cowtown Productions Inc., voiced hopes that that “Showdown in Cowtown” could proceed this summer.
“We are still working on it,” he said. “Nothing has been finalized.”
In the lead-up to the summer, rodeo fans should set aside time to enjoy the Saskatchewan High School Rodeo Association provincial finals. They will take place at the High Chaparral Arena, Maple Cree, on Thursday, May 26, from 3pm to 6pm.
News about some of the summer events being organized emerged at the February 8 Town Council meeting when Councillors discussed a report by Savannah Mass, the Town’s tourism and communications manager.
The report mentioned the Heritage Festival and “Celebrate Maple Creek”.
“I think it is worth mentioning to the community that we have got some festivals int he works, so watch for details,” said Councillor Betty Abbott. “We are going to have some fun this summer.”
Michelle McKenzie, the Mayor, agreed, hoping there will be a return to a semblance of normality.
“Hopefully, we will get things back on track,” she said.
After the meeting, Mass said that July 9 was only a tentative date for the Heritage Festival, which ideally would be coordinated with Historic Places Day. She was also awaiting word on whether “Showdown in Cowtown” would be held this year.
Mass said “Celebrate Maple Creek” was a successor to last August’s very successful “Celebrate with Maple Creek” festival.
“We want to make it different from the Heritage Festival,” she said.