Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Magrath Days - Part 1

“I can’t wait to leave this town.” Most high school students in Magrath utter that phrase at least once. Yet like so many of the people who live or grew up here, we gather every year to celebrate our community’s birthday.

Magrath is a little town situated between the coulees and grain fields of Southern Alberta. Tree-lined streets and flower beds in almost every yard have earned our town the title of The Garden City. Fifty-one weekends a year it is a quiet place, where friendly people wave at every car and going to the post office is a social event. But every summer, the little town of
Magrath dons its best party clothes and prepares for the weekend of July twenty-fourth.

There is a lot to be done before the big weekend. Phone calls and letters are exchanged to plan family and class reunions. Floats for the parade are created, numbers are prepared for the talent show and the evening program, families and friends practise for the annual softball tournament, and ride-on lawnmowers are tuned up for the big races. Beds are made ready for all the family and friends who are coming home.

The town crews put many hours into cleaning up the town, painting new lines on the roads, hanging flower baskets from the telephone poles and Canadian flags along Main Street. Families display flags in front of their homes and tend flower gardens with the greatest care. Everything must be just right.

Soon, the highly anticipated weekend arrives. Saturday morning people line the streets waiting for the parade to start. Some sit and enjoy watching the bustling folks around them. My sisters and I walk up and down the streets greeting familiar faces that we haven’t seen in months or years. The quiet town has been transformed.


ali said...

Sounds sweet Stephanie. I want to live there!

You know, my hubby has relatives in Magrath although he's drawing a blank on their name (we'll have to ask his folks). They were there for the same reason as your ancestors - to help establish the town and help with irrigation and such.

And my hubby grew up in Foremost, Alberta. Do you know where that is? He says Magrath and Foremost are not too far from one another?

I don't think his little town seemed too friendly though. :(

Stephanie said...

If you find out who the relatives are, let me know. I used to live in Burdett and Grassy Lake; both are quite near to Foremost.

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