Written by Lauren Meister Friday, Jul 03, 1:00 AM


That’s a wrap for Canada Day 153.

The day was filled with activities for everyone in Cochrane to enjoy.

Non-stop virtual entertainment, countless contests a parade and amazing fireworks.

Bella Fallis, President of Cochrane and Area Events Society (CAES) says they had to jump through quite a few hoops because of COVID-19 but it all worked out in the end.

“I have to hand it to team CAES, we were always up to the challenge no matter what and the whole day was simply an amazing celebration of Canada’s birthday from start to finish.”

Event Coordinator Kailey Leonzio says they had to quickly change how they planned when COVID happened.

“We did have stuff planned at the start of the year then COVID happened and we really had no idea. The Town came to us and said they still wanted us to do something but we had no idea what that would look like and they asked if CAES was up to the challenge to put on a virtual event, essentially an event that none of us had ever done before.”

After a rainy few days in Cochrane, the forecast wasn’t looking great for Canada Day but luckily that changed.

Fallis says “The rain stopping and the sun coming out was so great to set up the whole day. From the flag raising, to the contests, to the entertainment, the pipe band, the food trucks, the parade and then of course to the most incredible fireworks that Cochrane has ever seen.”

Leonzio says she was blown away by how well all of the virtual entertainment and contests went.

“The virtual side of it and just the engagement that we had on the posts and in our contests was incredible. It was like we brought the town together the way we wanted to do, we couldn’t bring them together at the park and even though virtual isn’t ideal, it turned out way better than we ever could have imagined.”

The fireworks were set off at Mitford Park, shooting 400 – 500 feet into the air and synchronized to music played on 91.5 CochraneNow.

Fallis says “The fireworks were by far the best that Cochrane has ever seen and of course we thank Big Bang for giving us a show that Cochrane will never, ever forget.”

You could see the fireworks from all over Cochrane and even into Calgary.

Fallis says “They were just so spectacular they could be seen from anywhere. So if you couldn’t get out you could certainly just stand out on your balcony or front porch and enjoy them from anywhere.”

Cochranites were able to dine on a wide variety of food as part of the celebrations.

Fallis says “We had 10 (food) trucks in the city, they were actually along the parade route so we were able to see them as we were driving by and again all over the city, people enjoying great weather and wonderful and varied food that was being offered. Anything from traditional fair ground favourites to some really awesome ethnic and creative dishes.”

She says the huge parade hit every major neighbourhood in town.

Fallis says “We had 25 cars in the parade and that was more then we had originally anticipated, that was actually double. The parade took a lot longer, over five hours instead of three.”

The ladies have nothing but praise and huge thank yous to everyone who helped organize the event as well as sponsors, volunteers and Cochrane residents.

Fallis says “We were so thrilled to see everyone come together for Canada’s 153rd. I really have to hand it to our team. We all had a really big job to do and we all came together.”

Photo courtesy Angi DuPaix Gerrie