Griz Days will go forward without some key events according to the Fernie Chamber of Commerce. (Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press)

Griz Days will go forward without some key events according to the Fernie Chamber of Commerce. (Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press)

Griz Days to go ahead in 2021, will ‘look different’: Chamber

The festival is a huge draw for tourism to Fernie and the Elk Valley

Fernie’s immensely popular Griz Days winter festival will have a very different look for its 44th iteration in 2021.

“There will be a Griz Days 2021, and it’s going to look different – there’s no doubt about it”, said Brad Parsell of the Fernie Chamber of Commerce in an interview with The Free Press.

Parsell says that the chamber – which takes point on coordinating and organizing Griz Days – was planning events as if all the public health restrictions and limits of today would still in place come March.

Limits such as crowd sizes, social distancing and required sanitizing of high-touch surfaces mean many events such as the parade are already out.

Even so, Parsell said the chamber was “very confident there’s elements of the festival that can still proceed.”

Those events would be the fireworks – which Parsell said would likely be a bigger event than previous years, the Extreme Griz competition which would be distanced and live-streamed, virtual concerts, home decorating contests, appearances by Griz, a scavenger hunt, Griz Pin sales and a handful of other events.

The big draw however – the closure of downtown areas for the Saturday festival, parade, live music, beer garden and food trucks would be difficult or impossible to stage according to Parsell.

“All of that’s obviously not going to be able to happen unless something dramatic changes … the last thing (the chamber) wants to do is put our community at risk.”

The event will be going ahead in one way or another, said Parsell. “Griz Days is not going to take a year off or be cancelled under my watch.”

The chamber is yet to secure funding for the event from the City of Fernie, which is normally the largest single contributor to the annual event, which can cost around $50,000 to organize and make happen. The majority of costs are carried by corporate sponsorships however.

Parsell said that it was up to the chamber to put together detailed plans on what the event would look like, and what sort of contributions from the city and local businesses would be needed to make it happen.

The chamber will be taking its proposed plans to the city in September or October, after the city asked for more information on the makeup of the event before it voted on whether to make a contribution.



reporter@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Culture

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
104 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

IH is reporting the new numbers since Friday, Nov. 20

(File Photo)
Riders challenge Rockies in last game prior to mandated break

KIJHL games are set to resume on Dec. 4 following a two week long pause

.
Loblaws reports worker tested positive for COVID-19 in Fernie

The worker’s last shift at Kevin’s Your Independent Grocer was on November 10

(Black Press file)
Interior Health reports 31 new COVID-19 cases

In the region, health authority reports 235 total active cases

Kelsey Merton and Sam Finnigan enjoy the comedic acts. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
Infinitea sets stage for amateur women comedians

The joyful event encouraged local ladies to take the stage while celebrating Infinitea’s closure

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

Most Read