With the easing of COVID restrictions the Arts Station is bringing back their Wednesday Night Socials in Station Square from August 4.
Louise Ferguson of the Arts Station said pre-pandemic the series would run for nine weeks but this year it will run for five instead since they only had around four weeks to plan.
“We didn’t know that we’d be able to host them,” said Ferguson.
“We found out at the exact same time as everyone else when the government made the announcement on June 30 that restrictions were lifting further and in particular for festivals and events … so we decided on June 30 to do this.”
She said she wouldn’t recommend planning an event in such a time frame, but said the support has been great.
“The community has been amazing and really stepped up to help us,” said Ferguson.
“When we had the go ahead that we could we had to give it a go.”
Ferguson said last year the event went virtual, but only for one night.
“We did a virtual backyard social, so we had bands inside the Arts Station and we streamed it out to everyone,” she said.
This year she said they’re hopeful for a good turnout (in person) and feels everyone is excited to get back to being with the community.
“From the initial response when we actually announced that it was happening everyone was so elated and so many people commented and liked,” Ferguson said.
“We definitely anticipate a good crowd.”
Although there aren’t really any restrictions, Ferguson said they will have some measures in place to accommodate people’s different comfort levels.
“We have opened up the space a lot more, food trucks are going to be going on 1st Ave. to free up some space,” she said.
She also said there would be a ‘quiet zone’ if people want less of a crowd, extra hand wash stations and hand sanitizer, but said it will feel very normal.
Another change this year according to Ferguson is all the bands performing.
“We’re mainly hosting local bands this year, normally we do touring acts,” she said, with four being from Fernie and one from Kimberly this year.
Ferguson said she’s grateful for all the support this year from Wapiti Music Festival and Columbia Basin Trust who sponsored the event, as well as all the volunteers.
“We’re excited to welcome the community back, but we ask that everyone is sensible. We know it’s been a while since we’ve been able to meet,” Ferguson said.
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