While the Griz did not bring snow for the festival, the weather was better than many of the previous Griz Day celebrations. Patty Vadnais, executive director of the Fernie Chamber of Commerce was pleased with how the celebrations went.
“It was fantastic, we were quite excited about the people that showed up, the community and volunteer support we had. It was a really good Griz Days,” Vadnais said.
The rainy weather did not put a damper on the festivities across town.
“What we were told at the start is out of the 38 Griz Days we have had, there have been about three good weather years. It was not raining during the parade,” said Vadnais. “It was raining at the Rail Jam and that was a bit of a bummer but all in all the weather was manageable. The tents that were supplied by Teck and FR Rentals as well as the heaters supplied by FR Rentals and Levitt machinery kept everyone pretty comfortable throughout the weekend.”
Parents and kids were eager to compete in the Baby Griz Crawl at the Community Centre on Saturday afternoon. The Community Centre also hosted a pancake eating contest and the Griz Craft Fair.
B. Catton Photo
The Griz did his best to get to every event over the weekend and had a lot of fun interacting with the crowds.
“It was a good festival. The Griz had a lot of fun. We tried to make sure he was able to make the rounds and he did. The kids loved it, adults loved it and overall I think the Griz had a good time,” said Stacey-Ann Clarke, Griz Days events coordinator.
A highlight for Clarke was the Circus Act Insomniacs’ performance on Friday night. “For me, I loved the interaction with the circus acts and the kids. They all loved them, they were super interactive and the kids had a good time. I also loved the parade, the feedback was that we seemed to have a lot of participants in comparison to previous years,” said Clarke. “Quite a few people went and did up their floats and it looked great. The overall event was a success, the fireworks and lumberjack show were a hit again. People partied into the night, overall a good time.”
The event attracted more than just locals. Many hotels experienced higher occupancy over the festival days.
“We did touch base with a few hotels prior to. They were saying that they were getting to capacity. We do not have any details on where they were coming from, but the hotels we talked to said they were nearing capacity so we did bring in a lot of out of town people to come see the event,” said Vadnais. “A big thank you to everyone that helped pull it together. We had great sponsors and volunteers that helped put it all together.”