(Right) Colton Sutherland

Sparwood celebrates Coal Miner Days

The annual Coal Miner Days celebration took over the streets of Sparwood from June 11-14.

The annual Coal Miner Days celebration took over the streets of Sparwood from June 11-14.

Thousands of residents and visitors took in the festivities that catered to a multitude of ages.

Passing floats during the parade on Saturday morning threw candy for waiting children, adults and kids alike enjoyed the soapbox derby races and car enthusiasts took in the Coal Miner Show & Shine.

Other popular events included the annual slo-pitch baseball tournament, laser tag, local food vendors, rock climbing and bouncy castles.

Despite a rainstorm that resulted in the cancellation of one of Friday’s reptile shows, organizers reworked the schedule to their advantage.

“We were able to be pretty flexible when it came to the big rainstorm on Friday night,” said Coal Miner Days Society President Marcia Johnson. “We cancelled one of the reptile shows and we put the Elk Valley’s Got Talent competition inside the curling rink and we had hundreds of people attend that so I’m actually sort of glad it rained because we had that many more people show up inside to watch that happen.”

The competition was the first of its kind for Coal Miner Days and had a dozen contestants show off their skills in music, singing, harmonica players and fire juggling.

Singer/guitarist Sienna Longo was the ultimate winner of the contest, claiming a $1000 cash prize.

The two runners-up were Keyten Kunst who also sang and played guitar as well as Jeff Southerland who performed a feat of fire juggling.

Longo donated $100 back of her winnings to the Coal Miner Days Society.

“It was a well-rounded show and we had great participation from the crowd. It was a really close contest and it was so hard to name the winner,” said Johnson.

Fireworks on Friday evening moved forward as the rain let up and were “sensational” according to Johnson.

On Sunday, Emergency Preparedness Day invited organizations like the Initial Attack first-response fire team and Sparwood Search and Rescue to inform the public about the role they play in emergency situations and display their safety equipment.

Plans are already moving forward for next year’s Coal Miner Days celebration, as it will coincide with Sparwood’s 50th Birthday.

“We’ve already been discussing our plans for next year and we hope to make it bigger and better than ever,” said Johnson.

Johnson said she hopes that more volunteers will register to help out with next year’s festival.

“The more volunteers we have the more of Coal Miner Days they can actually see. They can do less and enjoy more of the events,” said Johnson who added the event could not have been pulled off without the work of Justine Bowen, event coordinator, and Shona Williams, media coordinator.

To register as a volunteer visit www.coalminerdays.com and use the contact form.


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