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Posted: March 8, 2017

Rick Mercer helps Griz Days celebrate 40 years

There were festivities across Fernie, from Fernie Alpine Resort to the centre of town at Station Square. Festivities included a parade, fireworks, free concert, Griz competitions, eating competitions, craft fair and hockey tournaments to mention a few (see photos below).

Griz Days 2017 had over 25 entries for this year’s parade making this year’s parade the biggest in years. Many businesses and organization embraced the Celebration of our Legacy theme. This came through in the judging.

First place was awarded to Fernie Adaptive Ski Program for their mogul smoker float. Second place to Mow and Snow who created a float fit for a Griz; for all the Extreme Griz competitors. Third place went to The Urban Settler who enticed the original Extreme Griz winner, Willard Ripley, onto their float. Honourable mention went to Teck whose float went back four million years, not just 40!

Fifteen participants tried to prove they were the Griz.

It started with a pancake eating competition in the middle of Second Avenue and then moved to the ski hill for a variety of agility and strength testing including a tug of war and ax throwing.

This year, Allison Smith and Taylor Entz were victorious in winning the title Extreme Griz. There were also Junior Griz and Baby Griz Crawl competitions as part of this year’s events. The Baby Griz Crawl had over forty little ones racing from one parent to the other at the community centre during the craft fair.

The Griz Days Planning team was excited to learn the Wednesday before Griz Days that we would be getting a special guest at Griz Days – CBC’s Rick Mercer would be coming to Fernie!

Mercer was able to interview Griz competitors and organizers, as well as City of Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano (video above), as well as check out the parade, launch t-shirts with Fernie Alpine Resort ski patrol, and nearly get smoked by a downhill dummy flying off a kicker (video below).

Mercer’s production team expects Fernie to be on the Rick Mercer Report this season. More details will be shared when we learn an official air date.

Yukon Blonde had played Wapiti Music Festival last August and came back as a local’s favourite. An estimated 800 people enjoyed the free concert in Station Square. It was a great end to the day’s festivities.

On Sunday, Rick Mercer and his team headed up to Fernie Alpine Resort for the Raging Elk Dummy Downhill. The event did not disappoint.

The Griz Days Planning committee thanks the many sponsors and volunteers who made the event possible.

“Griz Days is truly a community celebration. There are so many organizations hosting events, citizens volunteering, and businesses sponsoring events. The chamber and the planning committee looks forward to doing it again March 2 – 4 in 2018,” said Chamber of Commerce executive director Patty Vadnais.

Fernie Chamber of Commerce

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Photos by Carrie Schafer and Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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