Appreciating our own businesses

Spring is here and with it the familiar sounds of lawnmowers and trimmers are beginning to be heard here in Big Valley.

Soon we will also be hearing the sound of those old train whistles as Alberta Prairie Steam Tours begins to bring visitors to our village. The season opens with the first arrival on Saturday, May 16 with trains scheduled to arrive the following two Saturdays, May 23 and 30. There will also be two mid-week school trains on May 26 and 28. During the month of May, it will be the diesel engine which pulls the train. The steam engine does not begin its excursions until June when hopefully it will be safe from freezing weather.

In preparation for the upcoming tourist season, the Canadian Northern Society has scheduled its annual spring cleanup at the Big Valley Station for Saturday, May 9 beginning at 9 a.m. Pizza lunch and refreshments will be provided to participating volunteers.

May will also welcome rodeo action to our village. Big Valley’s annual Bust-out Rodeo will be happening May 8 to 10 at the Agriplex. Watch for more information on times and events and get out your cowboy hats and boots.

How lucky we are to have such a variety of great businesses right here in Big Valley. With gift shops, restaurants, a grocery store, a bank and other Main Street businesses all within walking distance, our village has a lot to offer.

Our “store front” businesses are an anchor for this community. They ensure goods and services for residents who don’t drive, draw in tourists and visitors and support the local economy. There are so many reasons to gas up at the local station, pick up supplies at the general store, or enjoy a great meal at one of the village eateries. These businesses provide jobs for local people, generously support groups doing fundraisers and help Big Valley maintain the community character that we’ve become known for.

We are also lucky enough to have a great variety of local services available, everything from electricians to nail technicians to catering. Home based businesses are a great way to provide local employment and strengthen the community. There is a level of service at local businesses that you can’t find in big ‘box stores’. The owners are always willing to go that extra mile for their customers and in return we encourage you to not go the extra mile. Show your support back to them by shopping local.

So when you’re thinking of Mother’s Day gift ideas, check out Jimmy Jock Boardwalk and the rest of our Main Street businesses or consider taking Dad out to supper in the village for Father’s Day and help keep Big Valley thriving!

Sixteen players came out for crib at the Big Valley Inn on Sunday, April 12. Lillian Kirtley took first place, Lawrence Wilkie took second and Gloria Emblau took third. Len Shaw went home with the booby while Betty Bell won the regular draw and the 50/50. Big Valley Inn crib holds its season finale next Sunday, April 19. See you all there.