Community-builders in COVID-19: Country Convoy

Jessica Lutz and the Ardrossan Recreation and Agricultural Society

Community-builders in COVID-19: Country Convoy

"We thought why cancel the parade when we could just reverse the roles of the participants?” That’s what Ardrossan Recreation and Agricultural Society (ARAS) board member Jessica Lutz and her team thought when it seemed like the coronavirus pandemic might force them to cancel their annual Parade and Picnic. In collaboration with the South Cooking Lake Community League, ARAS will be hosting the first ever ‘reverse parade’, officially called the Country Convoy

The innovation is simple, as Jessica says “it’s really just about changing roles … there’s still a parade, but the dynamic part [the audience] is what is moving.” In her view, the current context is about using creativity, “what we found, is that these unprecedented times offered an opportunity to become a little more ingenious.”  

On Saturday, June 27 starting at 10:00 a.m. ARAS and the South Cooking Lake Community League will co-host the innovative and COVID-19 compliant Country Convoy, in lieu of the yearly Parade and Picnic. The reverse parade (convoys spaced 15 minutes apart) will make its way through Strathcona County, beginning in Ardrossan and weaving a path along local roadways to its final stop in South Cooking Lake. Along the route, participants will see vintage trackers and modern farm equipment, the Book Mobile, classic cars, 4x4 trucks, planes and trains, mascots characters, princesses and a parade of Ardrossan Grads. Residents are encouraged to fly Canadian flags, put up posters or artwork containing inspirational messages to the community, bale art or to advertise your local businesses. You can even dress up, if you like. 

The reverse parade will be a lot of fun for everybody and is also another example of residents pulling together to build community during these unprecedented times. In Jessica’s words, “it's taken a lot of work, a name change, and even more creativity and determination - BUT it is our opportunity to write history - not just as an organizing committee, but as a community.” 

Participants are asked to purchase tickets in advance at and all proceeds will be going towards Alberta Grow Hope and Strathcona Food Bank 

For more information visit the Country Convey Facebook page

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