The 2016 Summer Social Series will kick off on July 6, with a Wednesday evening free concert at Station Square. The Summer Socials are a series of events throughout the summer, including a free concert series held on Wednesday evenings and four Sunday Social events.
Renné Hooper is the membership coordinator for the Fernie Chamber of Commerce and said the series is celebrating its fifth year.
“Summer Socials have become a community staple in showcasing Fernie’s vibrant downtown. Both locals and visitors alike look forward to this event, which is now in its fifth year. We have a lot of fun working with local businesses to fill Second Ave. with activities for all to enjoy and take part in,” she said.
The concert series will run on every Wednesday evening in July and August and will feature a different musical act, starting at 6:30 p.m. This year, the concert series organizers have managed to secure some impressive musical talent.
“Krista Turcasso and the Wednesday Night Socials committee worked hard in securing awesome talent to perform this year,” said Hooper. “Personally, I’m excited to see The Cave Singers, Chinookin’ and Po’ Ramblin’ Boys.”
The four Sunday Socials are set to run from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on three Sundays in July and one in August, which will start at an earlier time of 10 a.m. Each social features a different theme to highlight a variety of cultural activities. Themes include Artsy Fartsy, Sports Day and Wapiti Pre Party, in which the organizers have partnered with Wapiti Music Festival.
“We felt this was a great opportunity to help promote Fernie’s beloved music festival by potentially capturing interest from out of towners that may not have heard of Wapiti before,” said Hooper. “Bands are TBA, and we promise a good time.”
The last Sunday Social is set for Aug. 14, and is the Show n’ Shine event, where car enthusiasts from all over B.C. and Alberta proudly display their classic cars on Second Ave. According to Hooper, the Show n’ Shine is “one of the summers most anticipated events and brings exhibitors from as far as the Lower Mainland and North of Edmonton.”
The Chamber works with the City of Fernie to produce the Summer Social Series and is funded by money from the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) fund.
“The Summer Socials receives $15,000 to support both the Sunday Socials and Wednesday Concert Series,” said Hooper. ”The Summer Socials meet goals outlined in the City of Fernie Resort Development strategy that directs how RMI funds are to be used. The Summer Socials increase visitor traffic in Fernie’s historic downtown, add to the number of events and festivals, promote local tourism, and improve visitor services.”
The Chamber estimates 100 to 150 people attend a Wednesday evening concert while as many as 400 people attend a Sunday Social event.