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Photos: Through rain and sun, SMILE Parade and grads set records, opening Energy City Ex

Despite the weather's early challenges, the event saw one of its largest turnouts, with over 50 entrants and participation from the 2024 Estevan Comprehensive School graduates.

ESTEVAN — The annual SMILE Service Estevan Parade heralded the start of the Energy City Ex with a vibrant display on June 14, despite the weather's early attempts to dampen spirits.

Beginning under a steady downpour, the parade concluded under bright sunshine, matching the consistently high spirits of attendees and participants.

This year's parade was one of the largest in Estevan in years, featuring over 50 entrants and drawing a significant crowd. The theme of Our Children, Our Future resonated throughout the event.

A highlight of the parade was the participation of the 2024 Estevan Comprehensive School graduates. Their achievements were celebrated by many in the crowd.

Awards were given in several categories, showcasing the creativity and effort of the participants. The Estevan Recreational Dance Club took home the award for the Best Interpretation of the Theme with their lively and colorful performance. The Tandem Dads, riding a tandem bicycle, won for Best Comedy. The Best Out of Town award went to the Ukrainian community of Estevan.

Jaycee Ross was honoured with the Best Decorated Horse and Rider award, impressing onlookers with a beautiful equestrian display.

The coveted Best of the Parade title was awarded to the Estevan Sharks' Water Polo team, whose float captured the essence of the club and teamwork.

The Energy City Ex continues over the next two days, offering a mix of fairground attractions and rodeo action, promising fun and entertainment for all ages.