by Craig Baird
Gull Lake held its first ever Harvest Festival on Sept. 13, and while the weather looked to be grim in the morning, by afternoon it brightened up just in time for the festival to begin.
The main event of the festival was the opening of the Guy Wong Shoe Shop. The shoe shop was closed in 1979 and remained closed until this year, when the doors opened for the restoration of the building. Amazingly, everything was left as it was in 1979, for the next 30-plus years. Even down to cigarettes in ashtrays, shoes that were never picked up, and retirement cards were left there.
Mayor Blake Campbell also unveiled the heritage plaque that will sit on the building, commemorating it and the impact that Guy Wong had on the community. Elders Elliott and Sorenson were also on hand as volunteers, working in the shoe shop, shining shoes and answering questions for the 150-plus people that came through.
As for the rest of Harvest Festival, the community market, supper provided by the seniors, and bouncy castle were all big hits. The Quilt Show in Cenotaph Park had 17 quilts entered, with 65 votes cast. Tasha Service had the top quilt for the event.
The big hit of the festival was the Pitch Burst, which featured volunteers like Mayor Blake Campbell, Councillor Derrick Wiebe and festival co-organizers Peggy Willman and Craig Baird in the cold seat. People paid two dollars for three throws at the target, to shower volunteers in icy cold water. The Pitch Burst alone accounted for nearly $400 raised.
The Pie Eating Contest was also a big hit with six entries, and Elder Elliott emerging victorious.
Overall, it was an excellent start to the first festival, with many ideas and plans in place for the festival come next year.