Legal ready to celebrate
Annual event returns with new wrinkles and familiar favourites
Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014 06:00 am
Friday, July 25 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 26 from 7 a.m. to dark
Citadel Park, Arena, Demo Pit
Town of Legal
The Town of Legal’s Fête au Village has traditionally celebrated its francophone roots with rural charm. It’s not unusual for the festivities to draw bigger crowds than the town population of 1,300.
However, this year is a centennial year and fête organizers have revamped the celebrations with numerous new activities running July 25 and 26.
Leading the charge is the debut of an Iron Chef competition followed by a Family Baseball Tourney on Friday. And on Saturday, the new events include a reptile exhibit, a coin dig and the introduction of a horizontal bungee.
Returning are some of the most successful events, including the soapbox derby, train rides, a caricaturist, the mechanical bull, a demolition derby, the farmers’ market, a roast beef dinner, a beer garden and fireworks.
One of the event’s biggest events is the Saturday evening dance with the return of Oil City Sound Machine.
“It’s their fourth time here. They’re very reliable and we’ve gotten positive feedback. They get the crowd dancing. It’s very energetic and interactive with the crowd,” says entertainment organizer Gina Dechamplain.
Kick-starting events on Friday are a mini parade and the Iron Chef competition, which replaces the traditional chili cook-off.
“Over the years the numbers were dwindling. Last year we tried the favourite recipe competition, but it didn’t do so well,” said Christine Young, Legal’s community services co-ordinator.
This year the town teamed up with Alberta Recreation and Parks Association, an organization that sponsors the provincial Iron Chef Challenge.
Each two-person team has one adult, one youth and must create a dish with barbecue sauce as a secret ingredient.
“This is something new and different and it engages the community. As well, the Iron Chef is really popular on television and we’re going to see how it goes,” Young said.
The competition will be held at Citadel Park. Since the park has no access to power, teams will prepare the bulk of their dishes at home and provide the finishing touches at the festivities.
Organizers are accepting team entries until Wednesday. Call 780-961-3773 for registration.
Fête chairman Fred Mallott also noted the traditional league ball tournament has been substituted for a Family Baseball Tournament.
“In the last years the numbers were decreasing. They just didn’t have the teams in the men’s league.”
The family tourney has been substituted with eight family teams going head-to-head.
“This will go over really well. It’s a heritage thing. People always play ball,” he said.
While the town is familiar with a mechanical bull, the same company is also introducing a horizontal bungee.
“It’s two tracks side-by-side. Competitors put on a vest with a bungee cord tied to the vest. They are given beanbags and they have to take them down the track. As they run down the track, the bungee cord pulls you back. The first to get the beanbag furthest down the track wins,” says Joel Congo of Joel and Mr. Mechanical Bull.
“The bigger you are, the easier it is to get to the end. But the more weight you push against the rope, the more the rope will pull you backwards.”
Another first-time activity is the Servus Credit Union-sponsored Coin Dig for younger children.
“They will be bringing coins and depositing them in a sand pit. Kids get to find loonies and they just love it,” Mallott said.
Another kid-friendly event is the exciting debut of Reptile Experience, an Edmonton-based organization that owns a small reptile zoo of iguanas, snakes, frogs, geckos and a bearded dragon.
The popular demolition derby is back, however a decrease in entries prompted organizers to add a truck heat.
“We have enough for two heats,” said Mallott, adding that for safety all vehicles will have their glass removed, interiors stripped, chains added across the doors and contain only enough gas for one heat.
“Last year we had rain just before the demolition derby and we didn’t get the crowd we were looking for, but this year we hope to get close to 3,000,” he said.