No go for Stettler in ‘Small Town Saturday Night’

Not this year. After losing out last year, Stettler has opted not to take another shot

Not this year.

After losing out last year, Stettler has opted not to take another shot at the provincial “Small Town Saturday Night” contest.

Stettler Board of Trade and Community Development manager Stacey Benjamin said last week that the board would consider entering the competition every second year.

Last year, the Stettler pitch in the inaugural event landed the town among the top-10 finalists.

Benjamin said the right to bid is open for any other organization in the community to try to win the chance to host a “one-day version” of the Big Valley Jamboree.

“We would be willing to help their committee,” she said.

Legal won the right to host the “Small Town Saturday Night” mini-jamboree last year, and raised $93,000 to build a new playground.

Bashaw was among the final-five communities last year and ended up finishing fourth. Representatives from that community are mulling another shot for this year.

The contest offers a grand prize that includes a country music concert with headliner Chad Brownlee and a songwriters’ circle featuring Clayton Bellamy, Alee, Bobby Wills and Tenille.

Billed as a “mini Big Valley Jamboree,” the contest offers rural Alberta communities a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience to showcase their community and serves as a fundraiser for a local charity.

Communities with 20,000 people or less are eligible to enter the contest. They must produce a two-minute video showcasing their community, which is uploaded to YouTube.

The deadline to enter is Feb. 28.

The event is also custom-tailored to the winning community.

The community can add to the framework by including beer gardens, 50/50 draws or “whatever else local organizers are willing to undertake to enhance the fundraising ability.”

An in-house panel chooses the top-10 entries “based on their depiction of community spirit and involvement, passion for local tourism experiences, character and creativity,” organizers said in a news release.

Online voters are encouraged to offer their support by voting for their favourite community between March 6 and 25.

The winning community is scheduled to be announced March 28 and the 2013 concert is set for the winning venue April 27.

Travel Alberta and the Big Valley Jamboree sponsor the event.

The entry form and the contest rules are available online.