06/11/2015 12:44 EDT | Updated 06/11/2016 05:59 EDT

Province's third-largest city: Red Deer in central Alberta tops 100,000

RED DEER, Alta. - Alberta's third-largest city has reached a milestone after inching towards it for years.

Mayor Tara Veer says Red Deer's population has officially passed 100,000.

This year's municipal census for the central Alberta city sits at 100,807.

City officials anticipate that, at the current rate of growth, Red Deer will reach 200,000 in less than 20 years.

The city is celebrating by holding a contest to find its 100,000th citizen.

Veer says topping 100,000 is transformative.

"Red Deer ... truly is our province's emerging city. The increase in our population gives us even more leverage on a provincial and national level to achieve the opportunities ahead of us."