The Airdrie Homecoming festival is just around the corner and is meant to be a celebration of the resilience of a community, who really relied on each other and to also thank our healthcare workers and first responders. Now that we can finally come together to do that and celebrate moving on from COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and bring back community connections. 

The one-time-only event is being funded by the Government of Canada through the Commemorate Canada Grant, Reopening Fund Component and is planned for October 1 in conjunction with Mental Health Week.

It’s all going to start off at noon with a kickoff PEP rally at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park. The PEP rally will include a cheer squad and marching band. The opening will include introductions, a welcome and speeches, one of the guest speakers is Karen Judge, author of the book Drive Your Happiness. 

There is a whole list of events and activities happening throughout the day for Airdronians to enjoy including the homecoming tailgate party, happening in the parking lot until 4 p.m., which will be where you’ll find a wellness fair with booths, tailgating activities, food trucks, family-friendly games and zones specifically designed for kids and teens. These zones will have activities like face painting, train rides, inflatables, a petting zoo, and even a mobile escape room. The Kids zone will be at Ed Eggerer athletic park and go until 6 p.m. and the Teen zone is running at East Lake park until 7 p.m.  

"There will also be local artists doing some street art on location and a pretty expansive lineup of music throughout the day," said Kristen Shima, community developer for the city of Airdrie. “Yes, we have an incredible music lineup for the day and it'll be starting off at 2:00 o'clock for the football field with the stage, that will include Scarlett Butler, Brandon Lorenzo, Blake Reed Band and Lisa Brokop. It will also include Julian Austin and Kyle Mckearney.” 

The end of the day's activities will include movies and fireworks. The Drive-in Movie Double Header is being put on by the Boys and Girls Club and will kick off at 7:30 pm in the Canadian Tire parking lot and will feature the films Hook and Ghost Ship. Shima hopes the whole community will come out to enjoy the fireworks to end the day at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park,  

“It'll be at the very end of the last act. It'll be starting from about 8:30 p.m. to about 8:35 p.m., so we can have the community join us for that show there.” 

She went on to say that the organizers are really excited about the festival and hope that people will bring their blankets and lawn chairs and really set themselves out for the day to just absorb everything, as it’s meant to be an experience and celebrate the community coming together and really connecting. But most of all it’s about honouring frontline workers, central services and the business community.