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Tuesday March 20th, 2012  
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Quote of the Week
"If you have no training or experience, now is a good time to be very conservative."
- Shannon Werner  
Canadian Avalanche Centre   
   

 

 
The Rum Runner Days Organizing Committee met last Tuesday, March 13th to discuss plans for the event moving forward, with several members of the public signing up to volunteer.
Approximately 15 local residents attended the meeting in order to voice their grievances over the cancellation of the 2012 Thunder in the Valley fireworks display and the potential impact it could have on the number of people who will attend, not only this year but in years to come.
“Not having fireworks this year is going to hurt attendance for next year,” stated one member of the public.
Committee members were quick to inform those in attendance that the decision was one made by Municipal Council and that the committee had put forth the recommendation that both events be held this year.
Councillor Emile Saindon, who volunteers as chairman of the committee, noted that there will still be a large number of people coming into the community over the course of the weekend even without the fireworks, adding that it is important to continue planning for those people.
“We still need to move forward with the event as it is,” said Councillor Saindon.
“We’re making changes and getting things started this year so we have these things in place for next year,” said committee member Sasha Jaeger-Baird.
Councillor Saindon noted that planning for traffic control, parking, camping and enforcement of no random camping are still integral to the event moving forward.
The committee agreed that the best way to go about controlling traffic in Blairmore over the course of the weekend would be do redirect out-of-town traffic when motorists attempt to come into town at the three main accesses by sending them to designated camping areas such as the parking lots of the high school and Crowsnest Sports Complex and the area on the north side of Highway 3 at the centre access (an area where several people camp already), as well as the possibility of using the parking area near the ski lodge and the former Shell service station site in Frank.
From there, campers could be loaded onto shuttle buses, at a low one-way cost, and brought into Blairmore for the course of the day.
Quad Squad President Karl Giesler said it would be important to have community groups volunteering to monitor camping in those areas, adding that they could also collect the revenue from camping fees, which could be used to benefit their individual organizations.
“In order to that, though, we need people. We need volunteers,” said Giesler.
Councillor Saindon said that as camping areas close to Blairmore fill up, they could expand out to other areas, including possibly the Hillcrest Ball Diamonds, but added that there needs to be a limit.
 

“There is going to be a point in this community when it’s full,” said Councillor Saindon.
“Once the town is full, it’s full and we can’t let in any more campers.”
The committee agreed that controlling the number of visitors to the community is important to the success and safety of the event, noting that other festivals such as Big Valley Jamboree only allow a certain number of people.
“If we demonstrate this year that we have some controls, people will come back next year,” said committee member Valerie Saje.
Controlling the number of people in town would also mean a reduction in policing costs, as fewer RCMP officers would be required to patrol the community.
Crowsnest Pass RCMP Sergeant Keith Bott told the Pass Herald last Wednesday, March 14th that the RCMP will still be requesting an enhanced policing agreement with the municipality at a cost of $58,800, as there is no guarantee that a large number of people will not still come to the community, even with the cancellation of the fireworks.
He said that once the day of the event comes, the RCMP will assess the enforcement requirement and send members home accordingly.
“It’s much easier to send our members home than it is to ramp up last minute and call them in on short notice,” said Sgt. Bott.
He said the policing budget could then also be reduced accordingly.
The committee also discussed other entertainment options which could be pursued for the Saturday of the event, in place of Thunder in the Valley.
Committee member Candace Saindon said the committee should focus on giving exposure to local musicians and artists.
The committee agreed that local musicians could be approached to play in Gazebo Park during the day following the parade, as well as an area which could be allocated to a beer garden, in addition to seeking a bigger act to headline the Saturday evening performance.
The committee also agreed that bringing back beer gardens would do well to entertain a lot of visitors in town.
Committee member and Scotiabank financial advisor Carol Budgen said the committee would ensure that the proceeds from the beer gardens go back to the community, with the possibility of allocating the funds among various local organizations.
Members of the public who were present at the meeting volunteered to help out on the entertainment, car show and vendor committees but the committee added that more volunteers are still needed for these and various other subcommittees.
For more information or to volunteer to help on one of the committees, contact the Municipality.
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