It turned 50 this year, but it doesn’t look its age.
Lewis Hawkes Arena, formerly Lewis Hawkes Pavilion, over the last year has gone through a transformation that has upgraded it to a modern event centre.
Bleacher seating for over 1,000; box offices; lounge; concession; announcer’s booth; new ventilation; new lighting; new tin inside and out; and new washrooms are among the improvements to the venue.
The $1M-plus renovation was completed thanks to an Alberta Government grant and contributions from the County of Grande Prairie as well as local businesses and benevolent citizens.
It has been a part of Evergreen Park since 1982 after being moved from its original location at the old fairgrounds on the east side of the City of Grande Prairie, where it was originally constructed in 1972.It has served as minor hockey’s indoor arena; hosted entertainers like Al Cherney and Buffy St. Marie and many county music stars as part of Stompede’s beer gardens; was the home of a farmer’s market and an Octoberfest with Emerson Drive; is one of the main venues for the ag show every spring; has been where local fans have watched bull riding, barrel racing and high school and amateur rodeo championships; is a place where local horse people shelter their animals in the winter; and has hosted prime ministers, 4H’ers, gymkhana events and other equine endeavors.
On September 30th Evergreen Park is celebrating the new-look venue with a Lewis Hawkes Arena Renovation Celebration.
Doors open at 5 p.m. and there is a country fried chicken buffet at 6 p.m. Following supper there will be presentations, including thanking the many who have contributed to the renovation, and the evening continues with Dancin’ In The Dirt with the band TJ Ruckus performing.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children four to 10 years old. Three and under are free.
Tickets are currently being sold online through the Evergreen Park website HERE or by calling the Evergreen Park office at 780-532-3279 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Evergreen Park is asking people to head to their Facebook page and reply to the Lewis Hawkes Arena Renovation Celebration post with their best memory of the Lewis Hawkes. Several posts will be randomly selected and the posters will be given prizes for taking part.