As the party concludes for what is one of the largest events of its kind in Canada, memories of A Mardi Gras Carnival live on in Vernon.
The 56th annual Vernon Winter Carnival’s 10-day celebration wrapped up Sunday, leaving a trail of feathers and beads behind it.
“Overall the Carnival was actually a huge success,” said chairperson Deb White.
“Every event was really well attended.”
Out of more than 80 events, about eight were sold out and only two had to be cancelled at the last minute.
“Toonie and a Tin was our wrap-up and we had over 300 people come out,” said White, as residents dressed up in masquerade and skated with Queen Silver Star royalty, as well as the Vernon Vipers.
This year’s royalty, Queen Madison Catt and Princess Sneha Suniara, signalled the start of Carnival as they were crowned at the Coronation and Proclamation. But all of the candidates helped bring the party to life as they took part in everything, from the parade to the Kids Karnival, Family Day in the Park and more.
“They were happy and eager to go to every event.”
There were a few hiccups this year, which White says they will grow and learn from.
“Having the Balloon Glow move around a lot was a challenge and the new website was a challenge for us.”
But as it turned out, the new Balloon Glow location at Kal Tire Place parking lot worked well for everyone, including protecting the balloons from the melting, muddy ground. The committee is looking at possibly keeping the location in the future.
While the balloons did manage to get up for the first day of the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, weather put a damper on their second day of flying.
Meanwhile the remainder of events proved to be a colourful lift for residents during what can be a depressing time of year.
“I went to a lot of the events and the dinner theatre was fun, burlesque was a lot of fun, jopo house was fun…” said White.
The Burlesque on Bourbon Street was a new event to Carnival, but proved popular as it was nearly sold out with more than 100 people.
“They are going to continue it next year,” said White.
Next year is also expected to turn out even better as Carnival looks to hire an executive director.
“We’re looking forward to a smoother sailing,” said White, as this year the board of directors was put to work since there was no executive director.
“Kudos to the board of directors, they did an amazing job,” said White, who would also like to see some new faces step up to serve on the board.
These and other volunteers are needed to help bring the Carnival to life.
It’s people like June Rigby, a director who has been with carnival since 1981, whose love of Carnival makes the event a success.
“We need people like June, she keeps the history with us,” said White.