If you have ever wanted a chance to visit the deep south, now is your chance.
Through the Lacombe & District Chamber of Commerce and Mystica Tours, Lacombians are being offered the opportunity to visit Lacombe, Alberta’s sister city of Lacombe, Louisiana.
Paul Myers, executive director for the Chamber, said that he was not involved with the Chamber when the sister relationship between the two cities was formed and therefore doesn’t know why such a relationship came to exist between them.
In any case though, Myers said he thinks such a relationship is a good one to have.
“Obviously, the name is the main connection,” said Myers. “It’s a good excuse or reason to get together with another community.”
Myers added that the relationship is also a good way for the two communities to share each other’s culture.
He added that there is possibility for some tourism spinoffs as well with residents of the two communities traveling between them to experience the different cultures.
“Some of our neighbours to the south maybe don’t know all of the great things there are to know about Canada and Alberta,” said Myers. He added that he enjoys bringing Canadian culture to the U.S. and enjoys experiencing American culture as well.
Keith Meyers, president of the Chamber, said that Lacombe, AB, sent a delegation down to Lacombe, LA several years ago.
Right around the time Lacombe, LA was going to send their own delegation to Alberta, Hurricane Katrina hit and the community in Louisiana was devastated.
Now, Lacombe, LA is eager to receive another group from Alberta as it gives them an opportunity to show off how they have rebuilt and recovered from that disaster.
Myers said that it adds another level of interest to the trip south.
“Katrina was such a massive event and had such an awful impact on those communities,” said Myers. “The opportunity to go there and see what they’ve done and to see how they’ve rebuilt and help them celebrate that is fun, it’s exciting it’s a positive thing.”
Myers added that, while Alberta has luckily not experienced such a massive disaster as Katrina, Albertans have a bit of a reputation for resiliency as well. It is just another example of common ground between the two communities and a way for Albertans to show their support.
“We’re all human beings,” said Myers. “I think we can relate to what they’ve been through.”
Jigo George, managing director of Mystica Tours, said that all the arrangements have been made for the trip.
Transportation, accommodations and a number of activities during the trip have already been taken care of, all travelers need to do is sign up.
“Everything is ready,” said George.
Some of the highlights of trip include sightseeing around Lacombe, a tour of a local gator ranch, swamp tours, canoeing, tasting and tour of local vineyards and meeting with some delegates from the communities.
George said that currently, only about five people have signed up for the trip but they are expecting more to register soon and are hoping for between 30 and 35 travelers by the end of the month.