First annual ‘Rumble Alberta North’ poker rally a success

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

“We got 100 per cent positive feedback,” says Sheila Willis, one of the organizers of Rumble Alberta North Poker Rally.

From concept to final prizes, Willis and her cohorts had 28 days to get together a poker rally with routes across Northern Alberta.

A poker rally is an event where people drive to different locations to pick up playing cards and at the end have a poker hand. There are usually prizes for best and worst hand and other hands.

The stops varied from larger centres like Cold Lake to the hamlet of Watino, on the Smoky River.

“Watino is probably smaller than Smith,” says Willis.

There were about 50 participants, says Willis, but they sold 78 hands as several people did more than one route.

Willis says, the only negative feedback was it could have been longer. Participants had six days to travel the route. One participant did all nine routes and rode 1,725.5 km. All routes ended in Slave Lake on August 22. Some participants also continued on to Veterans Memorial Gardens and Interpretive Centre in Grande Prairie. The around $3,000 raised went to this project.

The event was open to motorcyclists and cars. The majority of the participants were motorcyclists, but there were a few ‘car-cars’, but no classic cars.

Willis is already planning the second annual. The plan is for it to be June 1 to 18, with 15 to 19 routes. This is to line up with the Fat Boys (third or fourth attempt) to hold a first annual poker rally out of High Level. This year the Fat Boys put up the $2,000 grand price for the Rumble Alberta North.

Willis has already received a partnership promise from the Mayor of Mayerthorpe for next year and is excited for other partnerships.

This year the event was put on by the Veterans Memorial Garden, Canadian Motorcycle Tourism Association, and Willis’ company Impact Tourism, which developed the History Check app. The route maps will be up on the app at least until next year’s are uploaded.

Dusty Gibson and Erica Lizotte, from Grande Prairie, at the Slave Lake Legion as part of the Rumble Alberta North Poker Rally on Aug. 22.

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