SEXSMITH, ALTA. – Sexsmith will be adding a new summer event to its roster this year.

Town council decided last Tuesday it will commit $6,000 to replace the fall showcase.

Last year, Sexsmith held a late summer event in place of Chautauqua Day that was cancelled due to pandemic restrictions.

“We’re trying to do as much as possible to return to a more normal community life,” said Sexsmith mayor Kate Potter, “That’s what we’d love to do.”

“Our council really wants to have a strong community life because we know that people have missed that over the last couple of years.”

After running outdoor events like the late summer one as well as the Christmas festivities, Potter is confident Chautauqua Day can return this year.

“I think regardless, we’re going to try and see if we can make it happen even if there are some restrictions,” she said.

Great community response to the late summer event last year prompted the idea to combine it with the fall showcase, an event that has seen dwindling numbers in recent years, Potter said.

“The fall showcase is where we get sporting groups and other non-profits or service clubs, things like that to come out and try and build up their membership,” said Potter.

The decline in attendance to the fall showcase is believed to be due to COVID restrictions and a hesitancy for indoor events, explained Potter.

This year, the summer festivity will be planned for late August, with a free barbecue served by council, along with bouncy castles, live music, and a new spot for local non-profits and sports teams to recruit new members. Chautauqua Day offers fundraising opportunities for those same non-profits via food booths and other projects.

“It’s just another way for us to celebrate together as a community,” she said.

Last year the late summer event cost around $6,500, but Potter says they received many donations for food which, if that happens again, will cut the costs this year.

“It’s not just putting on events, but it’s building a strong community and people who are willing to help make that happen,” said Potter.