Here is my summation of Rum Runner Day's.
I really do not know what we expected for crowds, but they were not there as in past, obviously. I saw a lot more locals, however many locals did boycott, as expected.
The Wine and Food Festival was hugely successful!! Great turnout. Tremendous support from local restaurants and liquor stores. Great food and drink!! The talent of the musicians and artists was amazing!! Terrific ambiance!! Definitely a big hit!! A great new addition to Rum Runner Day's!! I hope to see it back next year!! Thank you to Sue Moser for doing most of the organizing!! A big Thank You to all the local merchants who contributed to the evening!!
Friday night's show was a washout!! Literally. Terry Ruth had to quit his show early, as soon as the rain started. The sound guys were scrambling to cover their electrical equipment. The rain quickly turned into a downpour, complete with hail, wind, thunder and lightening!! It was Thunder in the Valley on a massive scale!! As a result of the storm, The Paxton Bachman Band concert was sadly cancelled. There was a small crowd of very disappointed people, huddling under canopy tents or running for cover.
The parade over all, was a disappointment, no bands (music). The firemen were very conspicuously absent (sad). However, on a positive note, the Crowsnest Pass Ratepayers float was awesome!! The Recreation float was great!! Morency's new float was wonderful! The Forestry "bear" was very realistic, frightening and fun!! Too bad the parade was so short and lacked the basic components of past parades.
The Show and Shine was the biggest ever! Lots of kewl vehicles to look at and fawn over. It, in itself, was a huge success!! Huge kukos to Joni and Brian MacFarlane for putting it together!! Thank you.
The Boy's & Girl's Club Duck Race was a success!! Always fun!! Great crowds of families all cheering and watching the ducks antics as they floated down the river. At the finish line it was a mad scramble to catch all of the ducks before they could escape and continue down the river. Many did escape and I'm sure by now are well on their way to Lethbridge and beyond. Go ducks!!!
On the Saturday afternoon, Rainbow the Clown was a hit!! Loved by all! Young and old alike laughed and were amazed by his talent. His magic show was fun and interactive. His balloon portion of the show ended up with all of the children coming up on stage to be a part of his odd "farm" of animals. Rainbow does things with balloon animals that I have never seen done!! It was a show, that if you missed it, you missed an incredible act!! I hope he will be back next year to wow and amaze us!! Don't miss it!!
Charli Jaenta, the Facepainter, was very busy creating her usual extraordinary works of art!! Biggest hugs and thanks to her for her time and talent!!
Rolande the card reader was brilliant!! Her talents are amazing!! Unfortunately, she was not placed in the best spot in order to highlight her talents. However, she had a great time and wants to return next year. She is available for readings anytime. Just message me for details.
The Youth's Got Talent show was awesome!! We have a lot of amazing young talent!! They deserve much credit. I was proud of them!! Way to go!!!!
The midway and carnival area was a disappointment. We received half the rides that were supposed to come. On the positive side, there were no line-ups. On the negative side, the carneys were so disenchanted with the lack of crowds that they would say the rides were broke in order to not run for just two or three people. What a joke!!
There were a LOT less vendors. Could be the price increase and losing Thunder. I, for one, usually set up a vendor stand and did not this year only because there was no Thunder. A sign of the many that did not come this year??
T-shirts sales were brisk, both for the RRD T-shirts and the TITV T-shirts. There were equal amounts of both, seen on people walking around.
The Power Wrestling was very quiet. Not very many people. This is not really surprising considering the lack of crowds.
There were far too many police. They must have had fun handing out tickets, as every time I saw them, that is what they were doing!! The amount of Police and Peace Officers would have been good if we had the same crowds as years past, but overall, this year, definitely unneeded.
Parking passes totally unnecessary. No one even checked me or anyone else I know. However, if we had had Thunder, they would have been a good idea. As would have been the designated parking areas and shuttle service. If we ever get Thunder in the Valley back, it might just be a great idea!!
No one camping in the usual designated spots. Not surprising. Random camping was not happening either. The locals who complained about the random campers and the subsequent problems in the past, should be happy about that.
Over all, it was quiet and good family fun. However, we needed more stuff for families/kids and people in general. Bed races, four-legged races, tug-of-war, pie-eating contest, food eating contests in general (hot dogs, pie, pizza, etc.), business's entered into contests against each other, log or barrel rolling contests, a bouncy castle, dunk tank, bands playing, etc. all great ideas for another year.
Overall, it turned out exactly as I expected that it would, without Thunder in the Valley. There were many disappointed people. Some came still expecting Thunder and went home upset. The families who were there had good to say about the family events. There were a share of people who obviously boycotted it altogether. It was just not the same, without TITV, but did we expect it to be?
It was just Rum Runner Days. It was the same as any other local celebration, in any other town. It was not Thunder in the Valley good.
Was it worth the money we put into it? That is a matter of opinion. Did we get back the dollars we put into it? Not even close.
The many new things that we had this year will definitely compliment the next time we do have Thunder in the Valley!!
I, for one, am looking toward the future and hoping that we can bring TITV back with all the new positive changes and make it the best celebration ever!!
BTW. I am happy to sit down and talk with anyone about this years events, changes and issues. Email me, write on my blog, phone me. I am available to talk.