You may have noticed a familiar face in Airdrie over the weekend. Alberta Premier Danielle Smith decided to spend her Canada Day celebrating with Airdroinans and it's many visitors on Monday.

It was a jam-packed day for the Premier as she attended multiple different events. She started with the Canada Day Parade, in which she waved to the crowd of spectators from a vehicle she rode in. Smith then made her way to the Airdrie Legion to enjoy a barbeque, followed by a visit to Nose Creek Park where Airdrie's CultureFest was in full swing, and then stopped in at the Airdrie Pro Rodeo to take in the fun.

"Airdrie is the place to be on Canada Day. It was jam-packed with incredible experiences," stated Smith.

The Premier posted a video showcasing all the excitement she and the crowds were having at the events she attended in Airdrie.

Canada Day Parade

Near the front of the parade, Smith sat alongside Airdrie East MLA Angela Pitt where she saw thousands of Airdronians.

"I couldn't believe how many people came out for it, the weather wasn't perfect but people were game to be out there and cheer on all of the businesses."

According to Smith, Airdrie's parade is one of the most active parades she has ever seen.

"There were people who were doing spin classes all the way through, there were kickboxers and martial artists. I felt like I needed to go for a workout after seeing it. It was a great celebration of some amazing local businesses."

Smith also mentioned it was great to see and meet so many different Airdronians as Airdrie is a great destination point for those coming to Alberta.

"It's a beautiful community, lots of community spirit, can-do attitude, access to the local airport, great local businesses and access to Calgary. I can see why everybody was in pretty good spirits that day."

Just recently it was announced that Airdrie surpassed 85,000 residents.

Barbeque at the Airdrie Legion

After the parade, Smith stopped by the local legion to talk with some members and participate in their barbeque. Smith was glad to hear some of the stories the members shared with her.

"The legion looked like it was one of the most popular spots on Canada Day. I was just so pleased to be able to hear a little of that history."

Airdrie CultureFest

After lunch, Smith stopped by the first-ever Airdrie CultureFest which was also widely attended by many Airdronians.

"I think they (Kimberley Glass and her team that hosted the event) were astonished at how successful they were right out of the gate. It reminded me a lot of what I see in Edmonton with Heritage Days."

Smith even took part in a few different activities (which can be seen in the video above).

"I learned a little bit about a Filipino dance with sticks, I don't think I did a very good job of it, but I did want to at least try. I also tried what I think was a Korean game, where you take what looks like an arrow and try to land it in a quiver. I tried about 10 times and I only managed to get one."

She believes this festival is a great way to celebrate the diversity of all Airdronians and those that have moved to Airdrie.

"I think that increasingly, we're going to see more and more people from diverse cultures choosing Airdrie as their home. One of our most diverse communities is in northeast Calgary. I think there's one that has 53 different linguistic groups and I think that Airdrie is on its way to having that same diversity."

Airdrie Pro Rodeo

Last but surely not least, Smith attended the Airdrie Pro Rodeo on its final day.

The rodeo saw both professional events, which included bareback, bull riding, ladies barrel racing, saddle bronc, steer riding and wrestling, as well as team roping, and tie-down roping. Over the several days, the events featured plenty of local cowboy talent including participants from Crossfield, Didsbury, Rocky View County, Cochrane, Carstairs, Calgary, Okotoks, Strathmore, and Sundre.

"It's an important event (the Airdrie Pro Rodeo) because it's part of the qualifying rounds to get into the Canadian Finals Rodeo. I think it's terrific that we've got these rodeo events all over Alberta."

Smith stated rodeos are a great reflection of Alberta's values and spirit.

"Our values are freedom, we're risk takers, we also have a little bit of grit, we just get in there and get our hands dirty to get the job done. It was great to see young families come out and enjoy the event."

Smith looks forward to visiting again on another Canada Day to watch all the events continue to grow and visit with Airdronians.

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