Heritage was in the air in Greenwood last Saturday as Canada’s Smallest City celebrated it’s 117th birthday with Founder’s Day 2014.
At 9:30 a.m. the clock tower at the post office was rung 100 times to commemorate the fact the clockworks was built in 1914 by John Smith and Son Midland Clockworks of Derby, a company still in existence today according to Gordy Jones who looks after the clockworks for the city.
There were people who came dressed in period costume. For those who felt underdressed, there was Miss Sophie’s Old Time Photo booth where you could get into costume and have a Victorian or Old West photo printed on the spot.
Kim Kinakin walked around with a noose around his neck playing the part of Leonard from the Phoenix graveyard. He explained, “One hundred years ago I was caught stealing somebody’s gold and they convicted me. I was hung for my punishment plus I had to come back once a year for eternity and do community service on Founder’s Day. The only gold I am allowed to have now is Greenwood Gold water.”
The Greenwood Board of Trade took the lead in organizing the day this year. They were backed by many, many volunteers who came forward to represent other organizations.
Heather Smith organized the parade again this year. It was led by the Legion flag bearers and the pipers from Grand Forks Pipes and Drum. Following was everything from the fire engine to horses to ATVs. Lifeguards from the Greenwood pool had fun cooling those along the parade route down with squirt guns; and of course the Red Hat Ladies were there again.
The air was filled with candy for the kids too, as many on the floats and vehicles threw goodies to the crowd.
The opening ceremonies at noon included brief words from Mayor Nipper Kettle and Board of Trade President Jim Nathorst. The guest of honour at the opening ceremony was Rock Creek resident Margaret Eek—a descendant of Edward Christensen who, in 1896, was the first baby born in Greenwood. Edward was killed at Vimy Ridge and his Memorial Cross is on display at the Greenwood Museum.
The park was packed, parking was almost full to overflowing. There were over 60 vendors booths. At 10:30 the parade wound its way down to Lion’s Park from the McArthur Centre.
There was more food than one could handle; you had to choose where you were going to eat. The kids were kept both entertained and, quite literally in line, as they queued up for balloon art by Sunny the Clown.
MLA Linda Larson dropped by in the early afternoon to help the mayor cut the cake. “This is the first year I have been at your Founder’s Day and I want to thank the mayor very much for texting me constantly to remind me that this was happening. I am extremely pleased to be here and thankful that you invited me.” She called it an ‘absolutely wonderful community event.’
The fun continued until dusk with live music and door prizes.
“This Founder’s Day the whole community got together and worked together to make this event happen and to make it one of the best Founder’s Days ever,” Kettle said as he urged everybody in the community to give themselves a hand.