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PHOTOS: Griz Days Delights

Fernie celebrated the 47th Annual Griz Days on March 1 to 3

The City of Fernie celebrated the 47th Annual Griz Days on March 1 to 3.

Community classics like the Extreme Griz Competition and the Bed Race attracted participants from across Canada, and people put their creative skills to the test with the Dummy Downhill at Fernie Alpine Resort.

Bed Race

There was a blizzard on Saturday March 2, but that didn’t stop people from coming out to watch the Bed Race on 2 Ave.

The Plucking Penguins had the fastest average time of 31:03 seconds, and claimed their prize of Tempur-pedic pro align pillows. Hot on their heels was Dad Shred, with a time of 33:50.

The Penguins, consisting of Travis McKeller, Harley Thiessen, Brad Biggs, Kyle Anderson, Ryan Miller, and Rick Remendo, were coaches for a Calgary timbits hockey team who had a game in Fernie that weekend, and a parent chaperone signed them up for the bed race on a whim.

Extreme Griz Competition

Heather Evans and Ryan Sadecki were crowned Griz King and Queen at the Extreme Griz Competition on Saturday. The event brought the bravest and toughest people together for a series of strength tests that ran throughout the day in various locations around town.

Evans won the log cutting, keg toss and leg wrestling competitions, and had a chance victory in the final tug-of-war challenge when her opponent fell.

“It was stiff competition all around. Those ladies fought hard,” she said.

Evans said she had been practicing for the leg wrestling and keg toss events leading up to the competition with the goal of claiming the title. This was her second year in a row participating and she entered the event wanting to up her game.

Sadecki had come all the way from Ontario to visit Fernie that weekend, and his local friend persuaded him to take part in the competition.

He admitted that he had never even heard of Griz Days before he signed up, but that he really enjoyed the event, particularly the log cutting.

“I’ve never done anything like that in my life. It was pretty cool. It’s nice to have all the community come together,” he said.

He was tied in second place leading up to the final event, but he managed to take the lead in the last tug-of-rope challenge.

Dummy Downhill

Home-made sleds barrelled down the snowy slopes and smashed in to pieces at the bottom at Fernie Alpine Resort’s Dummy Downhill on Sunday March 3.

Aragog the spider, created by the Gibson family, won Best Overall. He was inspired by a mythical character from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets who is owned by Hogwarts gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid.

The Dummy Downhill has become a bit of a multi-generational tradition for Jason and Danielle Gibson and their children Mia and Cooper. The family has participated ever since Mia and Cooper were born, and Jason took part for 16 years prior to this. They have a different design every year.

Aragog was made from a metal frame wrapped in black paper mache and garbage bags, with foam wrap for legs. He scampered his way down the course and caught the edge of the jump at the bottom of the slope.

Jason and Danielle said the course was particularly difficult this year.

“We ended up having to pick it up and prop it facing down this year because the course was kind of difficult. It was a quarter pipe and then it kind of went down and up, and then down again before the jump,” she said.

Aragog was not the only dummy that won an award that day.

Trevor the Flying Elk won Best Air after he soared meters above the crowd on the last jump.

A monstrous green dinosaur named Skiosaurus made it to the end of the first ramp before catching an edge and wiping out in a flurry of powder, but won Best Theme nevertheless.

Fernie Mountain House Grinch soared to the end of the course and made a spectacular crash which earned him Best Disintegration.

Bullet Bill Barrage was a speed demon with the Best Construction.

The Honourable Mention went to Oscar the No Snow Grouch, who shot off the jump in his garbage can.

Snoopy and The Red Barron, and Fly Toy Box Fly were both awarded Best Donation for each contributing $100, which will go to charity.

About the Author: Gillian Francis

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