By Adam MacDonald
Fernie residents joined together this past weekend to enjoy the inaugural Fernie Wellness Festival.
The event celebrated various healthy practices, with chiropractors, massage therapists, and other wellness professionals giving free demonstrations amid various events, markets, and entertainers. “For me, relaxing and doing the yoga party, and not having to think about organizing anything was my favourite part,” said Cheryl Sherry, organizer of the event.
The Rotary Club of Fernie also sold corn to participants and spectators, raising money for its local scholarship program.
The closing event, an attempt to break the world record for the longest yoga chain, was held on Second Avenue at the Sunday Social. “Yoga is a big part of Fernie life,” said Sherry, “so we thought that doing the yoga chain would be a good way to bring people to our wellness festival.”
Despite a chain of approximately 600 people, the world record was not broken. “We applied to do the world record, thinking it was 296 people, so we thought 300 people is all we need – that’s definitely doable. So, I set things in motion and applied to Guinness World Records, but then found out that the record had been beaten with 696,” said Sherry.
“Obviously I knew before we started that we just didn’t have the numbers,” said Sherry on the attempt, “but it’s just phenomenal that so many people turned up. The streets were really quiet this afternoon, then all of a sudden at 3 p.m, it was chaos.”
“I think this is fantastic community spirit,” said Mayor, Mary Giuliano, “and I really applaud the organizers. It’s fantastic to see Fernie residents here.”
Participants from as young as six months old to as old as 95 years young participated in the event. “I do stretches every night for 10 minutes,” said Marie Nodge, the oldest of the participants. “I’ve done it for 16 years. I think it’s important that you do something every day.”
Volunteers also handed out goodie bags to participants, which contained items donated from local businesses, including environmentally friendly produce bags made by the Women’s Resource Centre.
“I’d like to thank everyone for coming out,” said Sherry. “We can’t do these sort of events without the numbers. This is our first yoga festival in Fernie and we want to build on it and hopefully have an even better festival next year.”