This year’s Fernie on Fire, held on Saturday at the aquatic centre, was one of the best attended yet, according to organizers. They have big plans to grow the community event. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Organizers plan to grow Fernie on Fire

The community event could one day feature live music and fireworks

Fernie on Fire could one day feature live music and fireworks as organizers look to grow the popular community event.

Hundreds of people turned out to the Fernie Aquatic Centre on Saturday night to see the town’s Christmas trees go up in flames at the fourth annual Fernie on Fire.

There were whoops and cheers as local firefighters added more fuel to the huge bonfire, causing the conifers to crackle and the flames to leap metres above the crowd.

Co-organizer and Fernie Firefighters Association President, Steve Kallies, said it was one of the best attended events yet.

“We went through a couple of hundred burgers and 150 hotdogs,” he said, estimating the crowd at about 300.

This year’s Fernie on Fire raised $2100, with $1000 going to the Kindergym Society and the remainder to be split between local groups throughout the year.

Next year’s event could be even bigger.

“Our intent is to eventually grow this, so that we can have a stage set up with live music, so we’ll be looking for volunteers earlier in the year, along with maybe a small organizing committee to make sure that those further additions will be successful,” said Kallies.

He thanked his fellow organizer, former Councillor Dennis Schafer, and Fernie Brewing Company, which kept the crowds well-watered.

Kallies also thanked Save-On-Foods and McDonald’s for providing food and drink, as well as the many local restaurants and bars who donated raffle prizes, and the community for supporting the event.


A firefighter prepares to throw another Christmas tree on the bonfire at Fernie on Fire, Saturday. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

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