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Major changes coming to the Grande Prairie area

April 1, 2023

By: A. Prillefousse

Roads declared safe at last in Wembley

Speed limits in the Town of Wembley are slated to drop even lower as the town hopes to continue pursuing street safety for the sake of young residents.

On July 1 of last year, the speed limit for vehicles within Wembley was dropped to 30 km/hr across town.

Now, effective April 1, the speed limit will be dropped to 0 km/hr, effectively eliminating all vehicle traffic within the town.

A parking lot north of the town is slated to be developed within the next few months; until that time, drivers coming into the community will be asked to park their vehicles at the Wembley Husky or the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum. A nominal parking fee of $25 per day will be levied.

In a statement, Wembley town council said that the decision will help keep young residents safe. The cardiovascular benefits of “the little jaunt” from the museum was also pointed out as a benefit of the decision.

It is unknown at this time how this change will impact the services of the Wembley Fire Department, although council mentioned that they may be willing to make an exception for the department, provided that they, “rescue people very, very slowly.”

Creature sighted in Sexsmith

Sexsmith residents are keeping a keen eye on the wetlands north of town this spring.

This is not only to see how the town’s newly developed stormwater berm will hold up in the face of its first seasonal thaw, but also to keep an eye out for the mysterious creature sighted by residents of the Forest Grove subdivision. The animal is said to stalk the newly constructed berm at night.

Dubbed “Bermfoot,” as well as “The Sexsmith Sasquatch,” “The Moose Ape,” and “Hairy Pete,” the creature has been sighted by residents over the past few weeks as spring weather has started to settle in.

One resident, who asked to be anonymous, described the creature as a bipedal “cross between a moose and a man.”

“At first I thought it was some guy in a really cheap Halloween costume,” said the resident.

“Then I got a closer look at it, and I just thought, what the hell is that?”

The resident said that rumours have started to circulate that the creature was awakened by the construction of the berm, and now stalks the wetlands, seeking patio equipment and other items to bring back to its lair.

But Mayor Kate Potter isn’t sure that the creature is something residents need worry about. She was quick to assure the News that the town’s prospective tree/fence rebate program for landowners with backyards facing the berm was in no way associated with Bermfoot.

The town is pondering a homeowner rebate of up to $500 for construction of fences (or trees) for backyard fences. 

County announces theme park

Move over, Disney. The County of Grande Prairie’s plans to expand retail and housing north of the hamlet of Clairmont has just gotten a little bit bigger.

As part of the continuing development of Clairmont Heights, the County of Grande Prairie has recently unveiled Swanland, a County of Grande Prairie themed theme park in the already County of Grande Prairie themed County of Grande Prairie.

The park is slated to feature over 500 acres of themed attractions and retail opportunities to help showcase the municipalities and features of the South Peace.

According to a statement from the county, the park was directly inspired by the World Showcase at Epcot in Disney World, Florida, which features parks and attractions inspired by the various nations of the world.

By featuring the municipalities and features of the South Peace, it is hoped that the development will help to promote tourism across the region.

As of press time, Swanland is slated to include such features as:

The Valhalla Viking Experience™: Inspired by the Nordic history of the South Peace region, this dark ride will send riders on a trip through Viking myth and legend, all the way through to modern history, following migrant families from Scandinavia to Canada.

The La Glace Igloo-Go-Round: This hockey-themed carousel will help inspire young athletes to follow their dreams on the ice. This ride is also slated to be replaced by a new attraction within the near future.

It’s a Hythe World: A gentle boat ride, perfect for seniors who wish to get out of the summer heat, featuring a looped track of the song, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice If Everywhere Was Hythe.”

The Highway 2 Roller Coaster: The $3,400,000,000 installation will feature realistic pothole simulations.

Beaverlodge to build army of beavers

After a Town of Beaverlodge’s staffer returned from a trip to China, they have suggested the town take advantage of the space next to Justin Beaver, the town’s iconic monument. 

Town council decided to utilize the space by creating an army of beavers, which would be smaller than Justin Beaver.

“I saw the Terracotta Army on my vacation and thought, why don't we have something like this in Beaverlodge?” said the staffer, who wished to be unnamed. 

The proposal to the town was to build 1,000 beavers, but the budget only permits for a maximum of 137 beavers. 

“We hope to have many more beavers added in the future,” said Mayor Gary Rycroft.

The town staffer also suggested that Justin Beaver be renamed Grande General Justin Beaver when the project is complete and Beaverly, the town mascot, be renamed Admiral of the Fleet Beaverly. 

Council voted to accept the suggestions for information.

GP police service to be named Grande Prairie Rowdy Wranglers

The City of Grande Prairie has revealed it would be calling its municipal police service the Grande Prairie Rowdy Wranglers (GPRW).

The first mock-up of the first Rowdy Wrangler service vehicle was presented to the public, which included a 6” lift kit and multiple truck accessories.

The Rowdy Wranglers are expected to receive special training, including lasso techniques and bull riding.

The GPRW uniforms are expected to vary from full western wear. while embracing the local style of Carhartt sweaters.  It’s really a question of cowboy hat vs. toque, said city Mayor Jackie Clayton. 

Did we get you this year? Happy April Fools Day