OXBOW - The Oxbow Flower Committee started as a temporary group with the desire to beautify the town for the 2004 homecoming, celebrating the town’s 100th birthday.
“We just wanted to do something new for the town,” she said.
What they ended up doing was introducing hanging baskets of flowers in the streets.
It started as a one-time event and turned into a tradition.
“Everyone really liked the project and wanted to continue. The reaction was quite remarkable and it has been continuing since,” said Dalziel.
Through the years, the number of hanging baskets they provide for the community has increased to 78, bringing colour and beauty all around town from the post office to the town cenotaph. Flowers have been donated for the Bow Valley Villa Senior Centre’s flower garden. People in the community can contribute to a basket on behalf of their family name, or as a memorial to a lost one or ancestor.
Through the years they have also added ground planters. Companies sponsored and purchased the planters for the town and the flower committee fundraises each year to fill them.
“The town is awesome in helping us, providing a student each year to water all summer,” Dalziel said.
Dalziel is the first to admit that the project would never succeed without the help of others, firstly the local greenhouse.
“Over the years, there has been so many people helping out. We are supported by so many volunteers, it’s a community project. We couldn’t do it without the greenhouse and when it is time to plant, everyone just shows up with a trowel and boom, it’s done.”
There have been so many people that have helped throughout the years that Dalziel couldn’t even begin to say all the names, and each spring there are new ones, of every age, adding to the legacy.
“Volunteers are the glue that holds the project together every year.”
“We get donations to the flower committee because they love the flowers,” she added. “There was a local farmer that died recently that just loved to drive around and look.”
Other than private donations, the committee’s main fundraiser has been a trivia night they host in the spring every year since its conception. Groups of six to 10 people battle eight rounds, with a range of topics for every age group, to compete for the winner’s trophy.
“Lots of groups come every year, the Red Hat ladies and even sets of families get tables and compete against each other.”
Along with the entrance fee, they have a raffle, 50/50, and a bar that is tended by the same people that have manned it since the first year.
With all the work and volunteers, the motive, Dalziel says, is as easy as the reasons for why they continued after the homecoming all those years ago.
“The town looks nice with all the baskets and planters.”