January 20th, 2018

Plenty of activity in and around Helen Schuler Centre

By Mabell, Dave on August 12, 2017.

It’s a year-round attraction. But really, is there any better time than now to rediscover our Helen Schuler Nature Centre and the parkland that surrounds it?

Volunteers and staff members offer a wide range of programs every month. But right now, there’s a particularly interesting selection for children, teens and adults as well as keen naturalists.

For pre-school kids, for example, there are presentations about owls on Tuesday and Wednesday, then sessions on “weather wizards” a week later. After a look at beavers this week, the “Trailblazers” program for ages six to 10 will consider “Who gives a hoot” on Tuesday and Wednesday; it will discuss “Don’t pressure luck” a week later.

For teens, a Wednesday presentation will teach how to survive after getting lost in the wilderness. And for families, a nature-based scavenger hunt is planned for Aug. 23. This Sunday, an interpreter will conduct a “berry nice place” walk from the centre at 2 p.m.

And on Tuesday, an evening workshop will show how to create a soil-free garden. For registration or details on any of the events, call 403-320-3064.

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Still in Indian Battle Park, our reorganized Fort Whoop-Up is offering family friendly programs as well. Each Thursday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., if offers “Eats ‘n’ Entertainment.” Blackfoot stories are told Fridays, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Then there’s the weekly “Saturdays at the Fort” program there from 1 to 3 p.m. The admission fee includes a horse-drawn buggy ride, a rare treat for today’s youngsters.

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Even less common these days, vintage steam and kerosine farm tractors will be part of the scene Friday through next Saturday at the Coyote Flats Pioneer Village south of Picture Butte. Old-Fashioned Harvest Days will remind visitors how much physical work was involved in bringing in the grain in southern Alberta’s early days – a lesson for children and all of us today.

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While they’re generations younger than those pioneers, members of the Nord-Bridge Senior Citizens Association are fond of some of the old-fashioned country music. They’re presenting an evening of country music on Aug. 23, featuring Floyd Sillito and Standard Time, with everyone welcome and tickets available at the centre.

Earlier that day, Nord-Bridge will be hosting a toonie pancake breakfast for Whoop-Up Days, from 8 to 11 a.m. at the centre with music by the Nord-Bridge Jammers. Later in the month, members will embark on a “mystery trip;” at month’s end they’ll visit Dinosaur Provincial Park north of Brooks.

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Here in Lethbridge, the Whoop-Up Days fair will be preceded next Saturday, Aug. 19, by the sixth edition of the Lethbridge Electronic Music Festival. Headliners at the no-charge event will be Father Funk from Bristol, England and Stickybuds from Kelowna.

They’ll be among more than 30 acts this year, organizers say, shared around three stages – including a live music stage this time. The all-ages event will also offer a kids’ zone, object manipulators, food and merchandise vendors and a beer garden.

It’s set to run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. in Galt Gardens.

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Next weekend also offers Open Farm Days across Alberta, at more than 100 sites across the province. Here in the south, the Lethbridge Exhibition has made things easy by arranging transportation for a four-stop tour on Saturday, Aug. 19.

Starting from the Farmers’ Market, the bus tour will include Broek Pork Acres, the Fairwinds Farm (with goat milk and cheeses), a visit to the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Academy and then to Fork in the Rowed, a small-scale organic farm.

Tickets are available at Farmers’ Markets here on Saturday and Wednesday, or by phone at 403-328-4491.

Farther afield, the weekend will include a “Lunch with the Pioneers” event at Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village in Pincher Creek, next Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The lunch, featuring products from the local Rose Creek Ranch and Room to Grow, is priced at $10 with reservations available at 403-627-3684.

It will also be pro rodeo weekend in Pincher, with the annual parade set for 11 a.m.

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Speaking of Exhibition Park, this year’s Whoop-Up Days feature such headliners as Theory of a Dead Man, the Trews, 38 Special, April Wine, Finger 11, Uncovered, the Steve Keenan Band, Glorious Sons, Jess Moskaluke, Dory and the Weathermen, and Theo Fleury and the Death Valley Rebels.

But there’s so much more entertainment, as we’ll outline next week!

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For indoor entertainment, the public library’s Crossings Branch continues with its free Wednesday night films. On Wednesday, it’s screening “Fish Tank” with Katie Jarvis and Michael Fassbender.

On Aug. 23, it’s presenting “Toast” with Helena Bonham Carter and Freedie Highmore, followed Aug. 30 by “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” with Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler and Olivia Cooke. Showtime is 7 p.m.

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Let’s take a moment to salute two southern Albertans who’ve been named winners of the Seniors Service Awards from the provincial government.

Since 2006, Helen Hartley has planned special events for seniors living in Riverview Lodge in Raymond, as well as visiting many of them and serving on its auxiliary board. She also volunteers at the Prairie Ridge supportive living facility.

Donald McCoy has served as president of the Milk River & District Seniors Group since 1998, organizing volunteers as well as fundraisers, planning year-round events for the town’s residents, and driving seniors to their medical appointments.

That’s the spirit that builds our communities!

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Our last-minute reminders: It’s our annual AppleFest today at Galt Gardens, with live entertainment, kids’ activity tents, “learning tents” for everyone, food and merchandise vendors and more. Visitors can also bring their apples and use a juice press, and there will even be an “apple beer” tent, organizers say. Admission is free.

And the Dream Catchers musical troupe, touring across Canada, will be staging its Lethbridge performance at 1:15 p.m. today at Exhibition Park.

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