Innisfail, Penhold families celebrate Family Day

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INNISFAIL – Cold temperatures didn’t stop families across the region from spending quality time together on Family Day.

Family Day festivities took place in Penhold Feb. 18 and in Innisfail Feb. 19.

The weekend events included food, hot drinks, games, sleigh rides and a variety of activities.

“We do have some sunshine and temperatures are a little bit colder than we’d like, but we have lots of hotdogs and warm drinks donated from Tim Hortons and the Coop here in town,” said Jamie Dawdry, Innisfail Kinsmen Club president, during the event. “Everyone’s having a really good time.”

Donations made during the annual Kinsmen Family Day barbecue were collected for the Innisfail skatepark fund said Dawdry .

Kane Williams, recreation program coordinator with the Town of Innisfail, said the town planned for dozens of families to celebrate the day.

“It looks like we’re getting a good part of the community out here,” said Williams. “I think we were at about 200 last year and a couple of years before that we were up over 400 people.

“It’s about communities, it’s about families, it’s about bringing families together in the community,” he added.

Families enjoyed indoor and outdoor activities such as skating, curling, swimming and skiing at different venues throughout the town.

Several councillors joined Innisfail mayor Jim Romane for the day as well.

“It’s nice to get everybody out,” said Romane.

The Town of Penhold celebrated Family Day on Sunday, Feb. 18.

This year a portion of the activities was held indoors at the Penhold Regional Multiplex.

“We’re really glad that we did choose to move it to the multiplex this year,” said Melanie Willerth, events and communications coordinator with the Town of Penhold. “We have a huge showing and we’re able to enjoy everything we have planned even though it’s cold outside.”

Willerth noted larger crowds than expected as many families enjoyed sleigh rides, roasted hotdogs and marshmallows, hot chocolate, face-painting, bouncy castles, balloon toys and free public skating.

Penhold mayor Mike Yargeau and several Penhold councillors were also sharing in the festivities.

“It’s really important to have the community come out,” said Yargeau. “It’s a chance for people to get together and meet their neighbours or just spend some time with them.”

Willerth noted the important role Family Day plays for families in Alberta today.

“It’s really a chance to reconnect with your family,” said Willerth. “We think we offer something here for every age group so that the entire family can come out, from the little kids to teenagers to grandparents, and enjoy a day together which is what Family Day is all about.”

Melanie Willerth, events and communications coordinator, Town of Penhold.

“It’s really a chance to reconnect with your family.”

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Kristine Jean

Kristine Jean is a reporter with the Innisfail Province, joining the newspaper in 2013. She covers Penhold municipal politics, news and community events as well as sports in and around the town as well as in Innisfail.