Griz Days is Fernie B.C’s annual winter festival, held each year on the first weekend of March, this year the festival dates are March 1st, 2nd & 3rd.
And what may you ask is the Griz? As any local will tell you, in 1879, the Griz was born in a ferocious grizzly bear’s den, prompting an epic battle between child and bear. The townsfolk, fearful of the noise heard that night, sent out a party in search of the cause. One man saw a boy wearing a bear coat and hat, but because no one believed what the man had seen, the sighting was almost forgotten. The Griz was last seen by backcountry tourers ascending the peaks above Fernie Alpine Resort in a heavy snowstorm. No longer a boy, the Griz is of average height with broad shoulders six feet wide, holding an eight-foot musket. The skiers watched the 300-pound Griz shoot his giant musket into the clouds, coaxing snow to fall. In his honour, the Fernie host’s Griz days every year in early spring.
And for a local tip, don’t forget to be wearing your Griz Pin or you could end up in the Griz jail! Griz Pins are available for sale all over Fernie at a cost of $3 each or 2 for $5- the lotto is back, so there’s a number on the back of each pin, after Griz weekend a winning number is drawn and whoever has that pin wins $1000 cash!!! A great portion of the money raised by sale of Griz Pins will go to the Fernie Food Bank.
Some popular Griz weekend events are; the Griz Days Parade- held on the Saturday evening at 6:30pm, the theme this year is ‘Light up the Night’, The Extreme Griz Competition, a just-for-fun competition for mountain men & women to compete at things like axe throwing, log sawing, snowshoeing, pancake eating, and more- held during the afternoon on Saturday at Fernie Alpine Resort, the Griz Days craft fair is also a very popular annual event, held Saturday at the Fernie Community Centre from 10am – 4pm, entrance by Griz Pin! Downtown Fernie sees most of the action, on both Friday and Saturday evenings there will be a stage with live entertainment, a 19+ refreshment garden, food concessions, and the very popular Commit to Pain Rail Jam- sponsored this year by CP Rail. And don’t forget the Fireworks display on Saturday night, early enough so that families can stay and watch.
Here is a list of the confirmed Griz Days 2013 events!
Friday March 1st
3pm- Free Brewery Tours at Fernie Brewing Company call to reserve 250-423-7797
6-10pm-CP Station Square Street Party! (Downtown Fernie by the Arts Station)
– Griz Days Most Wanted arrests & bailouts
– Live Music by Coal Creek Boys
– Refreshment Garden 19+
– CP Rail Jam preliminaries hosted by Commit Snow & Skate sponsored by CP Rail
Saturday March 2nd
10am-3pm- Wild Nature Tours Snowshoe Geocaching, sign in at Wildsight office- 891 2nd Ave.
10am-4pm- Griz Days Craft Fair at the Community Centre- entrance by Griz Pin
-Extreme Griz pancake eating contest at 11am (at Craft Fair)
-Baby Griz Crawl at 12 noon (at Craft Fair)
12noon-6pm- 14th Annual Classic Canadian Street Hockey Tournament, back of Park Place Lodge, advance registration required, visit the pub to register. Food & Refreshment garden available
12noon-4pm- Extreme Griz Competition at Fernie Alpine Resort, advance registration required call 250-423-6868
6:30pm- Griz Days Parade down Second Avenue, theme- ‘Light up the Night’
7:00pm -2013 Grad ‘Fun Fair’ Fundraiser at Elks Hall
7-10pm-CP Station Square Street Party! (Downtown Fernie by the Arts Station)
– Kids Griz Dress Up and parade walk hosted by PT the Clown
– Live Music by 60Hertz
– Fireworks Display to the Black Eyed Peas song ‘Light up the Night’
– Crowing of Extreme Griz winners
– Refreshment Garden 19+
– CP Rail Jam Finals hosted by Commit Snow & Skate sponsored by CP Rail
Sunday March 3rd
1:00pm- Raging Elk Dummy Downhill Race at Fernie Alpine Resort
Sunday will see the ever popular Raging Elk Dummy Downhill at Fernie Alpine Resort. For more information on this year’s festival phone the Fernie Chamber of Commerce at 250-423-6868”