Title quote from Father Giroux, who came to the Peace Country in 1896
It may be difficult for people here now to imagine what a huge thing it was in 1949 to have a bridge over the Smoky River. The report says that at least 12 000 people attended the bridge opening in August. To put this into perspective, the population of Grande Prairie in 1949 was 3700. The population of the entire MD of Grande Prairie in 1946 was 9505, and the MD of Spirit River was 1404. This means pretty much everybody in the country was at the Smoky for the celebrations! There were more than 60 floats in the parade, each of which featured some episode of the days of the trail, and many oldtimers rode in the parade, including Father Giroux, who was over 80.
Researched & written by Kathryn Auger