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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Pincher Creek and District Historical Society celebrates 50th anniversary

Prohibition Gala

Toni Lucas - The Pincher Creek and District Historical Society celebrated their 50th anniversary with an adults-only Prohibition Gala on Friday, September 2 and a family friendly Harvest Festival on Saturday, September 3.  Each event was hosted at Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village (KBPV) and was totally different than the other except they each celebrated history and were designed for everyone in attendance to have to have fun.



The Prohibition Gala turned the grounds into a roaring 1920s speakeasy for the night. with more than a hundred people in attendance. for over a hundred people.  There was funny-money gin joint set up in a shady back room (otherwise known as the new car barn) where the illicit liquor flowed freely. Men and women arrived wearing fashions of a bygone era.  Many of the women in attendance dressed as flappers, starlets, and gun-molls, including short hair, short hemlines, boas, feathers, beads and fringe. Many of the men were dapper and dangerous.  There were fedoras and pinstriped suits, in keeping with the theme, and the occasional turf war argument, sometimes held at gunpoint.


 Adding to the theme 10 wooden tommy guns were auctioned off to the crowd just before the costume contest.

Connie and Clyde Hochstein
After a series of very difficult decisions for the judges, Best Dressed Lady went to Erin Frith, and Best Dressed Man went to Patrick (Clyde) Hochstein of the infamous couple Connie and Clyde.

Best Couple: Jill Becker, Jayna Adair, Keith Adair
In keeping with the twists and turns of the evening Best Couple went to Jill Becker, Keith Adair. and Jayna Adair.  That is right, the best couple was the man who brought two ladies, or perhaps it went to the two ladies who brought a guy, depending on how you looked at it.

MC Bob Westrop, PCDHS President Colleen Cyr, MD of Pincher Creek Reeve Brian Hammond, Town of Pincher Creek Mayor Don Anderberg, Foothills MP John Barlow

Foothills MP John "Tommy Gun" Barlow
Pianist Jackie Therriault

Before supper Jackie Therriault played music of the era on a piano not unlike what many a gin-joint would have had back in the day, and later on Chris Davis DJed music from the era.  There were costumes, skits, and speeches from local politicians including Mayor Don Anderberg, Reeve Brian Hammond, and Member of Parliament John Barlow.

Ray Degan (second from left, front row) with family members on namesake bench
The evening capper was when long-time KBPV volunteer Ray Degan was presented with a bench outside the new car barn, a project he strived towards for the last five years. His family crowded together around the bench for pictures to commemorate the occasion.

Pincher Creek and District Historical Society President Colleen Cyr with husband and longtime board member Fran Cyr
The next morning, the grounds hosted close to 200 people. Families attended and children played in bouncy castles, and at old fashioned carnival games. Antique cars decorated the grounds from the museums collection, local collectors, and there were displays on loan from the Southern Alberta Pioneer Association. There was a teepee with interpreters, and contests and games. Just as the adults had fun dressing up in style the evening before, there was a dress up photo booth for those who wanted to show off their pioneer spirit.
History with glamour, fun and excitement for any age. Kudos to the society for sharing their 50th anniversary with such style.

Click here for more stories about Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village and the Pincher Creek and District Historical Society.


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