Rails & Tales celebration in Big Valley and Stettler, Ab. June 28 to July 5 included a display and demonstration of steam and oil-powered farm equipment north of the train station in Big Valley on July 1, 2017. ECA Review/L. Stillinger
Rail & Tales has come and gone, but what a uniquely fantastic way for the Village of Big Valley to celebrate Canada 150.
Every day of this exposition was chock-full of memorable activities and exhibits including marvelous static displays of vintage steam, gas and oil powered equipment at the north end of Railway Avenue, a Métis camp, Métis fiddler and dance demonstrations, and the Legion Colour Guard seeing off the train as it pulled out of the station.
Trains ran everyday between Stettler and Big Valley from June 28 to July 3 with each one being greeted by volunteers dressed up in costume.
“I haven’t met anyone off the train or coming into town that hasn’t been pleased with us,” commented Big Valley Mayor Asaph Ken Johnson in an interview on the last day of the exposition.
“I enjoy the interplay between the people and us when we’re in costume.
Most people are almost envious that we have that kind of town, where we can dress up like that.
We don’t even need a reason, we just do it.”
The whole village put on a great show for this celebration.
Residents pulled out all the stops with the flags, red and white flowers and beautifully groomed yards that made Big Valley really sparkle.
Local volunteer groups and individuals hosted a petting zoo, a penny carnival, the annual Community Canada Day barbeque, kid’s games, face painting, the July 1 parade and a week long art show at the library showcasing our local talent.
An amazing highlight was the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornets flyby on Thurs., June 29.
With the last train pulling out of the station, the thank you list is extremely long.
“People liked what they saw this week.” said Mayor Johnson.
“It’s a shame that it will be another 25 years before we have another big one to celebrate.”
Rails and Tales celebration in Big Valley and Stettler, Ab. June 28 to July 5 included entertainment by Barry Luft (right) with dignitaries attending including, from the left, Rails & Tales Chairman Don Totten, Kevin Sorenson – MP Battle River-Crowfoot,
Rick Strankman – MLA Drumheller-Stettler and Asaph Ken Johnson Mayor Village of Big Valley. ECA Review/Leo Degroot
Two CF 18 fighters from the RCAF conducted a fly by over Big Valley and the Rails and Tales exposition on Thurs. June 29 at 7 p.m. ECA Review/Leo Degroot
Classic cars driving down Railway Avenue, Big Valley, Ab. July 1, 2017. ECA Review/L. Stillinger