There is nothing like cold weather to kick off the Canada Winter Games Torch Relay, but the chilly weather did not stop Lacombians from celebrating.

The torchbearers representing Lacombe were Blain Calkins, Grant Creasey, Tyler Graham, Larry Michielsen, Patricia Nelson, Mackenzie Van Damme, and Reid Wilson.

Reid Wilson commented on the hardiness of the torchbearers, “It was really cold outside today, but I liked how everyone stayed out instead of going in the van,” Wilson added, “It’s kind of neat, everybody in Lacombe was supporting us.”

Lyn Radford, Chair for the 2019 Canada Winter Games believes the torch relays have been a successful start to the Winter Games, “The neat thing I find right now with the torch relays is we have the opportunity to celebrate each community and today was Lacombe’s day and we got to celebrate their community builders and who is being special in their community building.”

Torchbearers and guests were treated to free hot dogs, and a variety of goodies from local businesses.

20,000 people are estimated to come to Central Alberta for the games, and it is said to be the biggest event in Central Alberta’s history. The event is certainly going to gain Central Alberta a lot of attention.

Blaine Calkins, MLA plans to support the event as much as he can, “I am looking forward to going to as many of the venues as I can and just hosting the rest of Canada here in Red Deer and in Central Alberta.”

Lyn Radford believes that the scale of the event will really benefit Red Deer and surrounding areas.

“Hotels are starting to get build up. Rooms are starting to get booked in some of these outside areas because Red Deer is getting booked up. That was our goal for all of this. It wasn’t just for Red Deer to enjoy the economic benefit, we wanted the whole region to enjoy the economic benefit.”

The Canada Winter Games begin on February 15th and Central Alberta is sure to become a busy place very soon.

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