jump to navigation

Fernie Griz Days a Huge Success March 7, 2011

Posted by admin in : News , trackback

You missed out if you didn’t take in any of the events during Griz Days this year. It began Friday afternoon with the jailing of the “most wanted” of which I was part of; it was fun to share the Griz jail with fellow “convicts” Andy Cohen of FAR and Lauren Fox of the Women’s Centre. Thank you to all that contributed to my bail. It was set at $500 but donations came in at $1300. This year all bail monies collected are designated for the Women’s Centre.

Parade Marshal Dave Harrington did a great job organizing the parade with great professionalism and enthusiasm said Chamber manager Sarah Parry. Friday’s warm weather made watching the parade at its earlier time a pleasure as it was still light. But the committee’s idea to have stage entertainment and the Commit Rail Jam at Station Square after the parade was a fantastic one. In the past, minutes after the parade ended downtown turned into a sad, deserted place, instead this year hundreds of people crowded Station Square to enjoy speeches by MLA Bill Bennett, Mayor Cindy Corrigan and our own literary celebrity Angie Abdou who introduced the cutest mini Griz competitors. Beer garden, food vendor and great music on stage added wonderful ambiance.

Saturday’s baby Griz races at the Community Centre were a real crowd pleaser, the little tykes took all the attention as they crawled their way from one end of the stage to another to the delight of the large crowd.

The Extreme Griz competitions downtown were a blast. Mike Sosnowski and assistants Annie Hamer and Steph Grenko did a fine job of organizing this event. Competitors Trent Switzer, Jason Warshawsky, Tyler Lees, Steve Ruskay and Jason Dubray put on a great show of arm wrestling, leg wrestling, axe throwing and other displays of strength including showcasing bare arms and legs despite winter weather. But their mock cakewalk strut to music modeling furry mountain costumes had the crowd in stitches. Leanne Walker quizzed them on identification on pelt and scat and had them on a snowshoe race. Trent’s different animal growls were truly impressive but in the end Steve Ruskay was crowned winner for the fifth consecutive year but all the guys are winners in my book.

The three day weekend of festivities was packed with things to see and do including a pancake breakfast, craft fair, street hockey tournament, lots of stage entertainment downtown, spaghetti dinner, euchre tournament, Griz Olympics at the Aquatic Centre and the very popular dummy downhill race at FAR. Friday night also had the first fireworks display.

The committee this year comprised of Chamber manager Sarah Parry, Mike Sosnowski, Will Barbour and Sharon Switzer and Allan Knibbs from the City of Fernie. Karen Pepper and Scott Gilmet were in charge of events at FAR. Sarah emphasized that Mike and Sharon were key people that worked really hard to make this year’s Griz Days a success and also that the Griz mascot and his assistant were the best ever, attending many functions and just being present all over town. Sarah was everywhere making sure events ran smoothly but in preparation for next year she is asking that anyone with ideas could contact her as she welcomes input. This year’s event was the best Griz Days in many years and it was due not only to these great organizers but also to the many sponsors that pitched in. Congratulations to all of you for a job well done.