Editorial: Griz Days is back!

The community of Fernie is getting ready to welcome visitors and locals to the rowdiest and snowiest party of the year...

The community of Fernie is getting ready to welcome visitors and locals to the rowdiest and snowiest party of the year. Be prepared for a weekend jam-packed with excitement and celebrations because Griz Days is back!

Every year in the first week of March, we come together to pay homage to our very own local hero and powder provider, the Griz. 2014 marks the 37th annual Griz Days and this year’s festivities promise to be bigger and better than ever. It may have been a slow snow start to winter this season, but the Griz has been warming us up with plenty of powder over the last few weeks. Here’s hoping he continues to fire his musket into the sky this weekend, bringing more of that sweet snow down into the valley.

Whether you’re a believer or not, Fernie locals are all familiar with the legend of the Griz, a giant mountain man who lives high up in the Lizard Range. Even though this weekend is all about honouring him, there are a few other heroes in town who deserve to be celebrated this Griz Days.

Griz Days is organized by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, wtih plenty of support from the City. But it simply wouldn’t exist without the help of countless volunteers. Things kick off with a downtown street party Friday night, come to a close with the Dummy Downhill Sunday afternoon, and don’t forget the street hockey tournament, parade, and Baby and Extreme Griz competitions in between. Each and every one of these events are organized, set up, and run by volunteers. Plus, someone has to do the cleaning up after.

Even for the biggest Griz fan, or the most conscientious community member, this is a big commitment. We all have a lot going on in our lives; whether it’s work, family, personal, or all of the above. To sacrifice even an hour of your time for nothing in return is admirable.

Rather than participate and enjoy the fun events themselves, these men and women are taking the time to make sure things are running smoothly and everyone else is having a good time. Rain, shine, or hopefully snow, these dedicated volunteers show up with a smile on their face to throw our community one heck of a party every year.

So take the time to smile back at the volunteer who sold you your Griz pin. Give a high-five to the people slinging beer in the outdoor refreshment tent. And maybe next year, think about lending a little bit of your own time to the festivities. An hour or two goes a long way.

So here’s to the volunteers, and of course, to the Griz. Looking forward to another unforgettable Griz Days!