Two communities are joining forces to provide people from across the region a day of outdoor activities in one of the most anticipated events in Diamond Valley on June 7.
The day’s festivities begin with the Diamond Valley Parade that winds its way through Black Diamond starting at 10 a.m. before residents and visitors head west to Turner Valley for an afternoon of games, music, food, shopping and entertainment.
David Petrovich, Black Diamond economic development and events coordinator, said this year’s parade entries range from decorative floats and marching bands to the Calgary Stampede’s queen and princess.
“The testimony to this is it’s the 45th year and we have a very growing crowd and they are amazed at the amount of bands and floats,” said Petrovich. “The Calgary Stampede always makes an effort to come because it’s one of the biggest small town parades. We are very proud of that.”
This year’s theme is a tribute to the discovery of natural gas at Dingman No. 1 on May 14, 1914, said Petrovich.
The parade typically attracts 4,000 visitors and Petrovich encourages those planning to attend to arrive early. Highway 22 through Black Diamond to Turner Valley will be closed during the parade and other roads throughout the community will be blocked, preventing access during the event, he said. The route can be viewed by visiting www.visitblackdiamond.ca
Food will be in abundance with charity pancake breakfasts at Diamond Valley Dental on Centre Ave. and 5 St. SW and the Scott Seaman Arena hosted by the Oilfields High School, as well as a barbecue hosted by the Foothills Lions Club in front of the municipal building.
A Man Van that offers blood screening for prostate cancer will also be located at the municipal building.
Following the parade, visitors can head west for the Turner Valley Discovery Days’ afternoon of activities that brings as many as 1,500 people to the community, according to Hazel Martin, the Town of Turner Valley’s community events coordinator.
“It’s very well known,” she said. “It’s one of our more popular summer events where visitors and neighbouring communities come out and explore the Diamond Valley area.”
The festivities kick off with an outdoor market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring local arts, crafts, plants and food.
The Valley Neighbours Club opens its doors at 11 a.m. for a plant sale and the Sheep Creek Arts Council’s Rhubarb Festival and Quilt Show. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. arts council volunteers will serve tea, rhubarb pie and rhubarb crisp at $5 per person.
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Millennium Park will feature bounce houses, a petting zoo, face painting, agility dog performance and archery demonstrations by the Millarville 4-H Mutts and Mustangs.
The park will also host the Oilfields High School’s expo and games, vehicle extrication exercises and the Sheep River Library book sale and historic oil and gas photo display.
Entertainment at the Calgary Stampede stage from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. includes a variety of music and performance, including the Okotoks Irish Dancers.
“An event like this we try and incorporate everyone in a family,” said Martin. “The kids have all the entertainment, the moms can wander through the market, the dads like to come to visit and have that time to be with their family.”
The Dr. Lander Memorial Outdoor Swimming Pool will showcase mock pool rescue demonstrations at noon and the pool will open afterwards at 1 p.m.
The Foothills Lions Club begins its duck derby at 2 p.m. at the Flare ‘n’ Derrick Community Hall. The first place duck brings a $1,000 prize and the next 10 ducks to cross the finish line bring $100. The ducks cost $5 each and can be purchased by calling Barry at 403-933-2960.
Other activities include the Millarville Musical Ride at 2:30 p.m. and barbecues by the Foothills Lions Club, Knights of Columbus and local food bank.
Evening entertainment starts with the Royal Canadian Legion Turner Valley Branch’s Newfie Night at 6 p.m. followed by a production of the Oilfields High School’s “Disney’s The Little Mermaid, JR.” at the high school in Black Diamond at 7 p.m. Newfie night also takes place on June 6.
Throughout the weekend, the Outlaws baseball team will play at the ball diamonds adjacent to the Flare ‘n’ Derrick.
Go to www.visitblackdiamond.ca and www.turnervalley.ca for more details.