By Greg Price
As summer 2018 is coming quickly to an end, the Taber Recreation Board was debriefed on the several successful town initiatives people got to enjoy for the season.
The first annual Kids Can Catch Event on July 21 attracted 85 kids that registered between the ages of three and 16, with a total of 195 people at the event which included parents. The event was held in conjunction with the grand opening of the Trout Pond and a ribbon-cutting event. Several staff worked the event which saw it sponsored by eight different entities.
“There was a lot of success and the feedback was nothing but positive,” said Aline Holmen director of recreation for the Town of Taber at the Taber Recreation Board’s September meeting, as numerous kids got to enjoy trying to catch a fish. The pool staff was on hand to also teach about boating safety, along with providing small nets for kids to catch aquatic bugs with.
The future of the event will fall under the summer program staff and will be held in June.
With Canada Day falling on a Sunday this year, there was no pancake breakfast, but there was a free BBQ later on in the day. The Kiwanis Club volunteered to cook and serve for the BBQ that drew around 750 people.
Stage performances ran throughout the afternoon, along with activities of face painting, pony rides, astrojump bouncers, petland, and lawn games. There were also UN and summer programs booths set up.
The Taber Fire Department was also showcased. There was also an outdoor movie showcased at dusk at Ken McDonald Memorial Sports Park to go along with a fireworks display.
The Town of Taber participated for the second time in the World’s Largest Swim Lesson on June 21 at the Taber Aquafun Centre.
“It’s a world-wide event and we as a group collectively all over the world helped break the world record. So it’s exciting to be a part of that,” said Holmen.
The summer program review showed excellent participation.
The Taber Kinsmen Club in association with Teofista Boxing hosted an amateur boxing event at the Taber Arena on June 30 which saw solid attendance and the slight hiccups from the previous card were corrected.
“I was very happy with it. It was definitely cooler for the fans, that was one issue we were able to handle,” said Joel Mills, one of the co-promoters of the event. “I was happy with the crowd and how they got into it. I see a bright future in this town for boxing. I think it’s going to be a fight town, that is my hope.”
Final reports will be coming back in October for the 2018 Southern Alberta Summer Games that were held in the Taber area July 4-7. Locally, there were 477 athletes and 29 coaches. Local athletes took in 137 gold, 93 silver and 89 bronze.
New events at the Taber Games were pickleball and motocross. Demand was high enough in pickleball that the town couldn’t accommodate everyone who wanted to enter with its facilities and the Taber Motorsports Park saw 68 participants for the motocross competitions.
“Motocross had not been done at the Games since Lethbridge in 2004 I think. They want more going forward,” said Holmen, adding equestrian was also slammed with participants at the Taber Agri-Plex.
Seating was at capacity for Taber’s annual exhibition WHL game between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Medicine Hat Tigers on Sept. 1 at the Taber Arena.
“It was very well attended. There were people from one end, packed right to the other,” said Holmen. “It was more than they have ever had I think. I’ve never seen the arena that packed.”
The Taber Trout Pond has been operating all summer which has been utilized by fishermen, kayaking and paddle boarding.
The pond has been stocked twice with a total of 3,600 rainbow trout and it is scheduled to be stocked once more in September. More signage is being added and currently there are dog waste dispensers being installed along with the delivery of additional garbage receptacles. The town has also received benches that will be installed with the receptacles.
There were 262 runners registered for the Cornfest Fun Run this year. The run added a three-kilometre event to the race alongside the regular five and 10 kilometre distances, which was very popular with children.