In just over a week, people in Drumheller are asked to stop what they're doing for a minute and remember the people who helped to make the Drumheller Valley the place it is today.
The 2017 May Day Miners Festival is scheduled for Sunday, April 30 starting at Miners Memorial Park next to Town Hall on Centre Street.
"May Day has been a tradition in Drumheller since the first coal mine opened back in 1911, so this is a way for us to honour and remember our coal mining heritage but it's also a way to remember those 210-plus boys and men who never came home at the end of the day from the coal mine," explained Jay Russell, curator at the Atlas Coal Mine.
"We try to put it on the closest Saturday or Sunday to May 1," he added. "We decided April 30 was very close and it's a nice way to kick off the entire season."
Things get underway at 12:00 p.m. with a memorial service for those who died while 'working the black.' That will be followed by a march to the Badlands Community Facility for a barbecue put on by the Drumheller Cubs.
"The best way for us to determine our future is to know where we've been and Drumheller's got this great photo album of our history, of our culture (and) of our identity," stated Russell. "Let's preserve that hard working heritage and let's instill it in the next generation."
A 20 minute long locally produced film called 'In My Bones" will screen at the Napier Theatre at 2:00 p.m. Admission is by donation.
The Atlas Coal Mine spring season begins on Monday, May 1 as the attraction opens to the public from 9:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through May 6.

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