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A town damaged by fire prepares to welcome royal couple
Published Tuesday, July 5, 2011 10:29PM MDT
An Alberta town affected by wildfires more than one month ago will welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Wednesday.
The royal couple will stop in Slave Lake as they begin the Alberta portion of their tour, which also takes them to Calgary near the end of this week to take in the Calgary Stampede.
Prince William and Kate will be greeted by Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach, and the Mayor of Slave Lake, Karina Pillay-Kinnee, when they arrive at the Slave Lake Airport Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m.
The couple plans to board a bus at the airport for a tour of the town affected by wildfires 51 days ago.
Thousands are still struggling to pick up the pieces of Slave Lake.
"It's nice to see that people of some importance care about us. And they want to come see what actually happened," said resident Keith Derosier.
Last-minute preparations are underway and security teams can be seen throughout the town.
Following the tour, William and Kate will arrive at Northern Lakes College to meet with emergency services personnel from the fire brigade, the RCMP and the medical response team.
Then in the gymnasium, the Duke and Duchess will meet with the families devastated by the massive fires.
"I think it's a big thing. I'm excited that they're coming," said resident Bernie Cardinal.
By 1:30 p.m., the newlyweds will depart by minibus for the Slave Lake Airport. The tour will be brief, but busy with just over two hours on the ground.
They will then depart Slave Lake for the Calgary International Airport.
On Tuesday, the focus was on Yellowknife as thousands embraced the couple during their 36-hour visit that included local some local activities.
A day earlier, William and Kate took in a busy day of activities in Prince Edward Island, with the day's events including a dragon boat race.
On Friday, the royal couple took in Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill then headed to Montréal, and Quebec City.
The couple wraps up their Canadian tour in Calgary.
With files from Sean Amato
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet with people as they take part in northern activities in Yellowknife, N.T., on Tuesday, July 5, 2011. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Crews work to shut off gas and water in a burned-out neighbourhood in Slave Lake, Alta., on Wednesday, May 18, 2011. (Ian Jackson / THE CANADIAN PRESS)