By Andrea Arnold, Associate Editor/Reporter
That is a wrap on Pioneer Days 2022 in McBride. It was a beautiful weekend, contrary to what the forecast was predicting leading up to Friday. The rain held off until the last out was called in the last ball game.
As people packed up and headed home, it hit me how lucky I was to grow up in a community that values events like this. Weekends full of interaction, competition and excitement. I have so many memories from not just Pioneer Days, but other similar summer events like Canada Day and the Fall Fair, that the volunteers of McBride hosted as I was growing up. Memories of parades, games, watching baseball, biking around town, and just seeing the people interact and enjoy each other’s company.
This weekend was especially meaningful after the two-year hiatus. People who grew up here, people that I ran the kids races with 30ish years ago, returned, and brought their kids. I saw a whole new generation make similar memories to the ones I have.
The practice of returning to McBride for Pioneer Days weekend is not new. People have been coming home for the event for as long as I can remember. I am sure the generation before me had similar thoughts. I’m guessing that when I was running races with my dad’s classmates’ kids there was a bit of a wow moment for at least one or two of the adults watching.
Seeing the current group of high school kids put together a team for the ball tournament gave me flashbacks of the “Dream Team” some of my classmates were on. The wheel keeps on turning. I also witnessed the incredible support for individuals who step up and try something new. During the Logger sports, many people tried their hand at a new skill and all in attendance cheered them on.
I’m not sure when I realized that I, and all other kids who grew up in a town that celebrates community, are so incredibly lucky.
A full weekend of being able to run around, chase home run balls, bike, or run to the store for a snack and playing with so much freedom. That isn’t something that every kid gets to experience in their life.
We have been so fortunate to have a core group of volunteers who work hard to pull off weekends like we have just experienced. This core group, members of the Elks and Royal Purple in this case, put in countless hours planning and scheduling right up until the last minute. They continue to be on call throughout the weekend as things change, and issues arise.
They put together an army of “game day” volunteers and I am glad to have seen new faces overseeing different activities this weekend. It gives me hope that the kids I saw running and playing with their friends over the last few days may one day return for Pioneer Days and have a moment similar to what I experienced as they watch the younger generation make memories.