Cranbrook made it’s mark in the greatest outdoor show on Earth over the weekend, winning the best municipal float in the Stampede parade on Saturday.
The float was redesigned to fit a Sam Steele Sweethearts theme this year and built by local volunteers.
“This year, because we were changing floats for the 50 years of the youth ambassadors, we had to change the whole design,” said Jim Wavrecan, a volunteer who helped build the float and drove it in the parade. “So we had a group of volunteers came together and put in probably a couple hundred hours of volunteer time.
“We wanted to feature the Sweetheart program and specifically the youth ambassadors, so we had a heart theme,” said Wavrecan, adding that the float was dedicated to Karin Penner, a long-time volunteer with the Sweetheart Society.
The City of Kimberley was also recognized with third place honours, behind Cranbrook and the City of Red Deer.
In front of hundreds of thousands of spectators along the parade route, Wavrecan drove the float with Kelsey Ackert and Sarah Ferguson representing the Sam Steele Sweetheart and Princess.
“This was the first out-of-town parade for our new youth ambassadors and they were pretty thrilled at being out there,” Wavrecan said.
Float designs have to be submitted to the Stampede in February, which were created by Wavrecan’s granddaughter, Amber. The float was then built and went up against competition from all around B.C., Alberta, and Montana.
As youth ambassadors representing the Sweethearts program, Ackert and Ferguson made a big impact on the judges, said Wavrecan.
“When the judges came around Thursday evening, they were able to answer all the questions about why the float was the way it was and what the 50 years of Heart was all about,” he said.
“…They did a really good job with the judges and that goes a long way to promoting Cranbrook itself and the float’s just a part of that package.”