The Communities in Bloom (CiB) committee will be hosting a soirée to celebrate a successful 2016.
The soirée is themed “Beaver Tales” and will be held at the Maple Creek Armoury on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.
There’s always excitement for this event, said Royce Pettyjohn, manager of community and economic development.
“It’s usually a great deal of fun,” Pettyjohn said. “There’s a lot of socializing, celebrating, food and wine. It’ll be good.”
Pettyjohn says there will also be music, 50/50 tickets and the CiB Flower of the Year will be announced.
When the first soirée was held six or seven years ago, it was just a way for the CiB committee to raise awareness for the program and the benefits it has on the community, Pettyjohn said.
“It’s evolved over time to be the annual celebration that the community as a whole has achieved,” said Pettyjohn.
There is plenty for Maple Creek to celebrate after a successful year, Pettyjohn said, as the town received five out of five blooms at the national level.
“It’s really quite the achievement,” said Pettyjohn. “This is only the second time we competed nationally and the first year we did very well, getting four out of five blooms, so the fact that we got five last year is remarkable.”
In addition, Maple Creek won the national CiB award for land reclamation, after transforming an abandoned lot near the local RCMP detachment into a garden.
It’s not just the CiB committee that has earned the right to celebrate, Pettyjohn added.
“It’s really a community initiative. When we talk out of celebrating five out of five blooms, that was achieved by not just the committee, but the community as a whole.”
Most years, the CiB committee has offered finger foods, but this year they decided to go with Canadiana desserts.
“It’s Canada’s 150th anniversary, so in recognition of that, the committee wanted to have a dessert buffet that was reflective of Canadian desserts.”
There will be desserts for anyone with dietary restrictions, as well.
Pettyjohn says it’s probably best to eat dinner before coming to the soirée, but make sure to save room for the dessert there.
A guest speaker from Medicine Hat will be in attendance Jan. 19. Tammy Vanderloh, co-executive director of the Medicine Hat and District Food Bank, will be speaking about the need for community gardening.
Beautifying the community is important on more than just an appearance level, Pettyjohn said.
“People put a lot of emphasis on their first impressions of a place. If a place is dirty and run down, they’re less inclined to visit, spend money or invest there and are less interested in living there.
“Places that are clean, appealing and are beautiful, are places that we aspire to live and visit.”
The soirée is expected to bring in 100 to 120 people, Pettyjohn added.