When asked how he thought this year’s Corner Brook Winter Carnival went, Roger Down’s answer couldn’t have been much more Canadian.
He thought the annual celebration of the cold season went quite well, thanks to all the people who came together to help make it a success.
“It’s easy to look good on a hockey team when you have Gretzky passing you the puck,” said the carnival chairperson, referring to the hard work put in by all the dedicated organizers during the 10-day festival.
Most importantly, he noted, the weather co-operated. There was plenty of snow and no serious meteorological inclemency to deal with all week long.
The conditions were particularly good for last Monday’s Family Fun Day at Margaret Bowater Park. Schools and most businesses had the day off for a civic holiday and people filled the park for the always popular snow sculpture contest.
Down was also impressed with the sold-out Carnival Dance, featuring the Humber Road Greasers, at the Royal Canadian Legion this past Friday night.
“The dance floor filled up right from the first song and stayed full all night,” he said. “There was no warmup and the band fed off that.”
Down was in awe of with how the two carnival youth ambassadors, Claire Beck and Jessie Lawrence, and this year’s carnival patron, David Smallwood, represented Corner Brook’s residents all week long.
“As David said all week long about the ambassadors, Corner Brook is in good hands with young people like this,” said Down. “As for David, I think we struck gold with picking him as our patron. We know he’s quite busy with the Rotary Arts Centre, but he didn’t hesitate to be the patron and he was so funny and witty to have around us all week.”
Down also couldn’t say enough about this year’s Leifling, Odin Fawcett, who accompanied carnival mascot Leif the Lucky to most of the events.
“We called him Odin the Awesome,” joked Down.
While he felt it went well, Down said there is always room for improvement with the carnival. Of course, that means more volunteers and sponsors coming forth to make any new events thrive and become regular carnival features.
“I would like to see more corporate involvement and some bigger outdoor events,” he said. “I would love to see the Viking Games return at Marble Mountain, or something along those lines.”
The Viking Games was a now-defunct carnival event that once featured teams participating in a series of events, such as tube racing, tug-of-war, toboggan races, log pushing and others. There were separate events for both youth and adults.