Sunday December 18, 2011

Community News

Life's A Carnival

Families feeling festive for free winter fair downtown

Staff/Voice photos


Kids were what was important at the Winter Carnival last Saturday. Here they're enjoying a free ride.


he crowd was jubilant Saturday at the 2011 Winter Carnival despite coal black skies and occasional showers. It’s not often parents can take the kids to a fair and leave their wallets at home. Another reason is the season and so merrymaking families made the most of it and took in the free event in Chilliwack.


The Carnival, a Business Improvement Association (DBIA) brainchild, was their final offering in the Christmas in the City series of events throughout downtown in December.


The BIA has run a number of very popular events in the downtown core over the last year like the Party in the Park series.


Everything was in place for the Young Rd. and Princess Ave. first-ever Carnival the people, the rides. Local mascots schmoozed and the Rotary Train honked and whisked happy people around the festivities, and of course every kid had a photo on Santa’s knee. The only thing missing was the snow.


About mid-way into the event, the Voice had a chance to speak with organizer Desmond Devnich about the Carnival and upcoming year.


“We’re so excited, the weather has held out nicely and we have a lot of rides,” he said. “Look at all the people.”


Devnich paraphrased one ecstatic carnival-goer who said that ‘this was the best thing that’s ever happened to downtown.”


According to Devnich, it was a chance for the BIA to inject some seasonal flavour and festive activities into the downtown core, saying that he was pleased they could wrap up the season using the empty lot where the Empress Hotel was once located.


“It used to be a bit of an eyesore, but to bring so much light and sound to this area is a really great thing.”


In January, planning begins for the Village Classic Car Show, Sunday June 24th and Party in the Park which happens throughout July and August.


Devnich will also be busy in 2012 as a board member of the Chilliwack Agricultural Society and looks forward to working with Tourism Chilliwack on Heritage Park events next year.


“I will be doing some planning for the Chilliwack Fair as well so we’ll see what happens, I don’t know, it’s going to be a complete learning experience for me because I know nothing about cows, horses and pigs,” said Devnich laughing.


The main sponsors of the Winter Carnival are; Prospera Credit Union, West Coast Amusements, 98.3 Star Fm, the Progress and Little Mountain Tree Nurseries who brought in all the decorative trees.


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