Fam­ily Fun With­out a Cell­phone . . . How Can That Be?

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - NEWS - By Pat Don­ald­son

If you have friends or fam­ily with chil­dren, pick up the phone and tell them that the Em­press His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety has or­ga­nized an old fash­ioned Fun Fam­ily Week­end of camp­ing, movies in the park, games, races, rides in the fire truck, Man Tracker ad­ven­tures, a wheel of MIS­for­tune, a bar­be­cue, an evening Magic Show and even a Cow Pie Bingo. None of the ac­tiv­i­ties in­volve cell phones, I-pads, TVs or other dig­i­tal gadgets. Wow.

Most of the events are free to campers and town res­i­dents but there’s a small $10 per fam­ily charge for the bar­be­cue and Magic Show. What a deal!

Campers can reg­is­ter and set­tle in on Fri­day, July 19th and get the kids ready for Movie Night in the Park which will start at dusk. Ev­ery­one is en­cour­aged to bring their own camp chairs, snacks, blan­kets and bug spray.

Satur­day events start in the morn­ing at the Splash Park. A cou­ple of lo­cal artists have added face paint­ing to their list of skills and while kids wait their turn to morph into a fairy princess, a but­ter­fly, Spiderman, a pi­rate or a frisky puppy they can dec­o­rate their bikes, trikes or scoot­ers with the sup­plies pro­vided.

Why bikes? Em­press is a tiny vil­lage…fewer than 150 peo­ple even when ev­ery­one’s home in bed! That means that with a lit­tle bit of com­mon sense even young chil­dren can ride their bikes around town just like Grandma and Grandpa did in the good old days. Moms and Dads are en­cour­aged to bring their own bikes to the camp­grounds so they can keep up with the kids.

There’ll be races and games and a lo­cal busi­ness is going to pro­vide a free pic­nic lunch at the park. Then the Fire Depart­ment is going to roll out their snappy new fire truck and show off all the work­ing parts to the kids . . . maybe even take them for a spin.

In the af­ter­noon the lit­tle tots can play in the Splash Park while the older kids (and any willing Moms and Dads) are going to be di­vided into teams and com­pete in a Man Tracker Mys­tery Ad­ven­ture.

Ru­mour has it that waaaaay back in dis­tant mem­ory a band of des­per­a­dos rode into town and robbed the lo­cal bank. For­tu­nately, the Moun­ties rode into town from the other di­rec­tion and foiled their es­cape . . . but the bad guys some­how hid the money.

Par­tic­i­pants in the Man Tracker Mys­tery game are going to try to find the cache while avoiding the lo­cal Sher­iff who pa­trols the streets in a golf cart and tracks them down.

This is the part of the day when a bi­cy­cle might really come in handy. There will be prizes for all par­tic­i­pants, of course!

Late in the af­ter­noon folks can choose to head over to the old CPR Sta­tion Mu­seum and par­tic­i­pate or watch a few rounds of Wheel of MIS­for­tune be­fore sign­ing up for the bar­be­cue and the evening Magic Show.

The or­ga­niz­ers ex­pect that by then ev­ery­one will be more than ready for a good night’s sleep.

Be­fore head­ing home you can gather the kids to­gether and have a quick game of pick-up base­ball at noon on Sun­day. That’s when Rosie the cow will be led into the Cow Pie Bingo en­clo­sure next to the ball di­a­monds and de­ter­mine who will take home the $1000 grand prize.

The Fam­ily Fun Week­end is what en­ter­tain­ment was like be­fore the dawn of the dig­i­tal age.

Em­press His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety sug­gests you gather a group to­gether and give it a try. For in­for­ma­tion or to reg­is­ter for camp­ing phone Pat at 403-565-0009.

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