Matt Stang of Prince George competes in the Funtastic home run derby Saturday at the DND grounds.

Matt Stang of Prince George competes in the Funtastic home run derby Saturday at the DND grounds.

Funtastic weekend hits a home run

The 29th annual event ran from Friday to Monday, with a sell-out 216 teams hitting the fields in Vernon

Huge crowds flocked to the Funtastic Slo-Pitch Tournament and Music Festival.

The 29th annual event ran from Friday to Monday, with a sell-out 216 teams hitting the fields in Vernon and 82 teams in Armstrong and Enderby.

“It was another great Funtastic,” said Jim McEwan, Funtastic executive director.

“The comments we got from teams is they are looking forward to coming back next year.”

The 216 teams in Vernon translated into about 4,500 people from all over B.C., Alberta and other locations.

“It’s a real family vacation getaway,” said McEwan of parents, children and grandparents getting together.

Beyond the ball fields, another major focus was the music festival at the DND grounds.

There were 5,200 people on site Friday, a sell-out crowd of 6,000 people Saturday, 5,400 Sunday and 3,500 fans Monday.

“The highlight was the salute to Canadian troops Sunday,” said McEwan.

“We had a number of military personnel there and the crowd cheered them on.”

While thousands of people were at the music festival each night, no problems were reported.

“The RCMP did a phenomenal job as did our security contractor,” said McEwan.

“We are diligent to make sure the festival is safe.”

Funtastic has a significant economic impact for local hotels, restaurants and shops, but there is also a direct benefit for charities in the community.

“We will have to find out what the final numbers are but right away there is about $30,000 for the (charitable) groups directly involved in Funtastic and then there is community grants of $29,000,” said McEwan.

“We also helped out with the fireworks this year.”

Planning is already underway for the 30th annual Funtastic tournament next year.

“It will be a big event and we will work with community groups to see what we can do for it,” said McEwan.