This past weekend marked the 40th anniversary of Griz Days. After a seemingly endless cycle of poor weather and threats of rain for the weekend the Griz came through and provided us with decent weather for the festivities which led to larger than average turn-outs to events such as the parade and the dummy downhill.
For the first time in a long while that I can remember, it wasn’t freezing cold or pouring rain on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday afternoon brought with it blue skies and sunshine encouraging everybody to gather outdoors for the Junior Griz competition, the chainsaw exhibition and the Lumberjack show at Station Square.
The celebrations were bolstered by the attendance of Rick Mercer from the CBC show The Rick Mercer Report. Mercer’s attendance was facilitated by an invitation from the Fernie Chamber of Commerce and provided an air of celebrity to this year’s festivities. The attendance of Mercer and his film crew at events such as the parade and the dummy downhill provided an extra boost to the crowds enthusiasm while promoting the community of Fernie and its lifestyle.
The really great thing about Griz Days is all of the volunteers that step up to make it happen. Those behind the scenes people that spend their time making sure that everything turns out, from the parade marshal to the emcee at the dummy downhill and of course the Griz Days committee itself. Without these key volunteers in place it would be nothing but chaos but we don’t see that side of it, all of the hard work that goes into the making of Griz Days.
This volunteerism truly shows how proud Fernie is of it’s community, lifestyle and traditions. The fact that many volunteers return to help every year is a real testimony to the longevity of this festival and it’s effect on our community.
So thank you to the Chamber for all of your hard work and of course, for inviting Rick Mercer to Fernie and thank you to everyone else who was involved. From those who took the time to build a float for the parade to those who sold Griz pins at the Craft Fair, or set up the sound system for Yukon Blonde; you all did a fabulous job that made this year’s Griz Days one that will be remembered.