The anticipation is almost over. Next weekend Sparwood will be hosting its annual Coal Miner Days celebrations.
And this year, locals and visitors can expect to see some changes.
Professional mountain bike rider Ryan Leech will be making his way to the Sparwood Recreational Center on Friday evening for a motivational talk.
Event Coordinator Justine Bowen says this, along with several other events, is a good way to get teenagers involved in Coal Miner Days — something that in previous years didn’t seem to be happening.
“It’s important to us that we make sure they’re a part of the community, that they feel welcome and that they feel like people are paying attention to them,” she said.
But Leeche’s speech isn’t the only event that’s been added to the calendar this year.
The teen dance is another addition, with proceeds from the event going towards building a skate park in the town.
Coal Miner Days will also be hosting an independent music show where unsigned bands have the opportunity to showcase their talents on Saturday afternoon.
A laser tag match and volleyball and rugby tournaments are also new to the Sparwood event this year.
But with over 4,000 people coming through the community every year, Sparwood will continue to host their more traditional events, including the golf tournament, the soap box derby and the parade.
This June weekend event draws in tourists from Fernie, Cranbrook and Elkford, Bowen said.
“It profits all of the local businesses here, as well as brings us together as a community to get together and do something different.”
And unlike a large majority of festivals, most of the Coal Miner Days’ events are free.
“People can come and enjoy them and not have to pay for them,” Bowen noted.
For more information on this year’s Coal Miner Days, check out http://www.coalminerdays.ca