The Chinook winds have cleared away much of the snow in the Stampede City. But the Arctic front has returned and the forecast calls for a dusting of snow and a wind chill of minus 20 by the time the Optimist Clubs in Calgary and High River launch the 2nd Annual Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate. Once again, the skate will take place at Olympic Plaza between noon and 4 p.m.
And once again, they've secured a license for a fire pit, like they had last year to help keep skaters warm. Last year, the temperatures dropped below minus 30. Skaters will also keep warm from the free hot chocolate that will be provided by Ian and Stephanie Morris of the Good Earth Coffeehouse and the sandwiches provided by Sunterra Market.
Anews story from last year reported that about 75 skaters came to the Calgary skate. They enjoyed birthday cake, signed a birthday card for Sir John A, and those who showed up in kilts were rewarded with a "gift" in the form of a Sir John A. Macdonald toonie. Scottish music was played on the public address system. From the reports, it seems that a splendid time was had by all -- in spite of the cold.
In a few hours, the skates in Ottawa and Calgary will be over. In Ottawa, we're heading for Milestones afterward for a good stiff scotch, and we're sure our friends in the Calgary and High River Optimist Clubs have their own plans to relax and celebrate a job well done. But for them as for us, the next few hours are going to be frantic with activity.
Many thanks all around to the people responsible for organizing the kilt skate in Calgary: Robin Morris; Daryl and Meva MacDonald; Pat Shorrock, President of the High River Optimist Club; Marilyn Bushel, President of the Dinner Optimist Club of Calgary; and Duane and Marnie Kelly. Thanks, as well, to Denise Cummer-Dolph, President of the Optimist Club of Calgary, who answered the challenge when the Scottish Society of Ottawa sought organizers for a kilt skate in Calgary. The Optimist Clubs would welcome partnerships with the Scottish community in Calgary and invite anyone wishing to get involved to contact them.
Good luck tomorrow, Calgary! We're looking forward to posting pictures of the fun you'll be having at Olympic Plaza.