People packed the Lyle Victor Albert Centre Saturday night for the Bonnyville Opry's 25th Anniversary Show, as a full lineup of talented and energetic performers entertained the engaged and receptive audience, as they celebrated a milestone for one of Bonnyville's longest-standing live music venues.
“It was a fantastic, magical evening,” said Opry president and performer Rose-Marie Cameron. “It was so entertaining, from the first performers right through to the grand finale.”
She said the 25th anniversary celebration turned out better than she could have imagined it.
“The performers were wonderful,” she said. “And the audience was so positive and receptive to all the different performers. As we were cleaning up at the end I had several people come up and tell me just how much they loved the show. It was a lot of fun.”
One of the highlights on the evening was when long-time Opry performer Christine Urchyshyn played her version of “The Squirrel Song”, much to the delight of the audience. The song, which is part singing, part spoken word, had the packed house laughing and cheering throughout the performance.
Urchyshyn, who celebrated her birthday that same evening, has been performing at the Opry since it began back in 1988.
The audience was also involved with the Three Cord King's rendition of “The Last Saskatchewan Pirate” as the band's tambourine player ran up and down the aisles, dancing amongst the crowd, while the audience sung along to the chorus.
The celebratory evening was closed out with the traditional grand finale, where all the performers from the evening gather on stage to perform the song “I'll fly away”.
The song is a commemoration to the first years of the Opry, which started the traditions of closing out the show with a group rendition of “I'll fly away”.
“It was great to be a part of the Opry and the anniversary show and we're excited to keep it going,” said Cameron.
The next Opry is scheduled for Feb. 9, which will be a special Valentine's Day show.
Tickets for the Opry are available in advance at Tellier's Value Drug Mart and the Bonnyville Liquor Store, or at the door on the night of the show.