The Courier

Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Cold Lake will be a hive of activity as some special celebrations begin this week.

The base is gearing up for a week full of events to celebrate both the 100th Anniversary of The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). The week of events begins with a public open house, being hosted at the Medley Terminal, on Wednesday, May 22nd.

The open house is scheduled to run from 9 AM to 3 PM. 4 Wing RCAF Centennial Committee Chair, Major Karl Braschuk says the day will provide an opportunity to the public, and specifically students in local schools, the chance to see the work that gets done at the base.

“We’re expecting over 2000 students at the open house, in addition to the public. We’ve been in contact with several schools in the area. You’ll be able to see aircraft, helicopters, and a lot of the equipment that we use on this Wing.  We’ll also have personnel explaining their role.”

“You will be able to touch and try out some of the equipment, put on some of the clothing and take some pictures. There will be some interactive displays, some hands-on moments and a chance to understand what we do.”

A complementary barbecue featuring hamburgers and hotdogs will also be provided from 11 AM until 2 PM.

“A lot of what happens in the RCAF and Canadian Armed Forces can be quite different and unique than what the average Canadian encounters normally, so we have 40 different displays that will be able to present some of that,” explains Braschuk. “We’ll also have members that can talk about recruitment on hand.”

On May 23rd, members from 4 Wing will march from the base to Cold Lake City Hall, and onward to the downtown core, as they receive the Freedom of the City. The ceremony marks a longstanding honour bestowed by communities on military groups.

“This ceremony forms a bond and agreement between the city and the military population,” says Braschuk. “The military will march to City Hall and knock on the door, which will be answered by a city representative such as the mayor. The parade will proceed downtown for a small ceremony, before marching back.”

The event itself will begin at 10 AM and run until 12 PM. The public is allowed and encouraged to observe this tradition.

On May 24th, CFB Cold Lake plays host to the RCAF 100th Anniversary Fun Run and Wellness Walk. On May 25th, the doors open at the Colonel J.J. Parr Sports Centre for military members, veterans and public servants attending the RCAF 100th 4 Wing Gala.

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