Children from area schools took over the Badlands Community Facility and surrounding areas on Wednesday, Sept. 27 for the first Ignite Your Spark Youth Fair. The event was scheduled to host 44 different activities for youth to try for free, in hopes of finding a new passion (or spark).
Starting outdoors, in the BCF parking lot, kids could learn about Drumheller's fire and ambulance departments, try their hand at lassoing, learn about fossils or car repair.
At the library, Spanish lessons, a Harry Potter event and a craft table were open for use. The BCF field house was host to spinning classes, taekwondo, floor hockey, netball and a Drumheller favourite: pickleball.
Steph, one of the student participants, said bull riding and bullfighting was her favourite event, and called it really fun. Her friend, Shayleen agreed. The third friend, Danica, disagreed, saying that pottery was much better. She wasn't pleased with what she made, but had a good time and kept her vase.
The multi-purpose rooms at the BCF were filled with furniture refurbishing classes, pottery workshops, art/drawing classes, golf practice, a mini escape room, nail art demonstrations, Lothar the Magician and Rosebud Theatre classes on stage combat and musical theatre. The hallways throughout the facility were stuffed with cheerleading demonstrations, a yoga class and free coffee for teachers and volunteers. The kitchens were home to the butchery and smoothie demonstrations.
In the art/drawing room, student Sydney Peterson described her artwork.
"So far, I'm drawing a background, and then I'm going to draw my house."
"I'm drawing a beautiful girl," added friend Lydia Germain.
Out behind the BCF, kids could try kayaking, paintball, drumming, geocaching and archery.
Student Teegan Saller said he chose to try the paintball event because he likes to paintball and wanted an opportunity to do some more paintballing.
Taking a rest on a bench upstairs, three students described how great the mechanics demonstration was and how they enjoyed learning about cars. Down at the demonstration, mechanic David Denton explained what he was teaching the kids.
"We're showing them where to check engine oil, how to use the scan tool and how to pull a tire on and off -- the simple, basic things," he started, before adding about the kids: "They're good, they're inquisitive. They think they know a lot until they start looking at it."
Marcello Garofalo, the owner of Canadian Tire said he was happy to have had the opportunity to participate in Wednesday's event.
"We were approached by Kevin from the RCMP and he asked if we wanted to be part of it. It's a great program to give kids a chance to see what different careers could be like and explore different things."
Ignite Your Spark was hosted by the Drumheller & Area Asset Development Coalition and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Drumheller. Students who participated in at least three activities were invited to enter the draw for one of six door prizes.