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Fireworks light up the sky above the Whitecourt valley, part of Eastlink Park’s New Year’s celebrations


Eastlink Park celebrated the new year with a bang, holding their second annual New Year’s Day event which included hot dogs, hot chocolate, and fireworks. It was originally set to take place on December 31 but with a temperature of about -30° and a wind chill reaching -40°, organizers made the decision to delay it by 24 hours, and hold it on New Year’s Day.

“Last year was a great first year for a new event. We had a huge amount of people here and it was great to profile the hill in the community. This year we were looking to expand on that,” explained Chad Merrifield, hill Board member. “The town and county have each given us some money for putting on the show, so we are thankful for that, and IGA also donated product. We’re just excited to have an even better and bigger show, especially after nine days of -30° temperatures where all the kids have been locked inside and now they are excited to get out and have fun as a family,” Merrifield added.

Tammy Dickson and her daughters, Katie and Kennedy, along with their friends, enjoyed skiing prior to the fireworks and were having a wonderful time. “It’s pretty fun up here,” said Kennedy, “and I’m excited to see the fireworks.” Her big sister, Kayla, works at the hill so for the Dickson’s, Eastlink Park is a family event. “It’s so nice to be able to just be minutes away from home and come out and have fun, and not have to drive all the way to Jasper,” said Tammy.

Along with bright and beautiful fireworks, there was also something else special up in the sky. “We have the wolf moon tonight which is a pretty neat event for a lot of people.  It’s the first one since 1949 for us, so I think it’s just going to be a terrific event for families,” said Merrifield.

Eastlink Park has a new manager this season, Marcus Amerl, and he is working hard to get the hill just right. “He’s a young, dynamic individual and he’s put a great team together to make sure the terrain park is going to be just great this year. We’re just finishing up the tubing runs, and they should be open this weekend (January 6 and 7).  We’re excited to have the full hill coming right along,” said Chad.

A seasonal transit spot has been added with the buses making routine stops at Eastlink Park. “It’s a great asset that the town has accommodated our community in being able to get up here through public transit,” said Chad. Families also don’t have to worry about bringing equipment on the bus, with rentals available on site. “Rentals are only $8 for adults or kids; it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re renting. We also have a $99 family day pass that includes rentals and lift passes for a family, and it’s just a great value.”

For more information on hours and costs, join the Eastlink Park Facebook page or check out www.eastlinkpark.com.



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