BY JORDAN PARKER firstname.lastname@example.org
While fluffy snow may not cover Gull Lake right now, three weeks will make all the difference as the town organizes their 3rd Annual Winterfest.
“It was started as a way to try and promote Gull Lake by bringing people in and around the community together for a fun-filled and different event,” said organizer Nasser Zanidean.
Zanidean has been chair of Winterfest all three years, and has enjoyed his time helping out the community.
“I believe in trying to do my part in the community to help and attract more faces to Gull Lake,” he said.
“Being born and raised here as well, I would really like to continue to see Gull Lake grow and succeed.”
The event will have a number of activities, and Zanidean and the committee have gone to great lengths to ensure there’ll be something for everyone.
“What we have dome with the events is pretty simple. We found some the first few years that people seemed to enjoy, and we add a couple of new ones
each year,” he said.
Included this year are a pancake brunch, craft fair, street hockey, snow mini golf, crafts and cookie building, a snow ball fight, beef on a bun supper, a bonfire and fireworks.
“Ultimately, we continue to try and grow the events we have in place now. The community seems to enjoy the events we have taking place and we are grateful for the support,” said Zanidean.
“Fireworks always seem to draw a larger-than-normal crowd at the end of the night.”
Regardless of the weather, Zanidean won’t let a little heat stop the show from going on.
“We do have a list of other events in the case we need a substitute. That will be a big topic at our next meeting,” he said.
Zanidean expects a decent turn-out for the event this year.
“We are hoping to see somewhere in the neighbourhood of 200 to 300 people out and about that day,” he said.
“We also hope to continue to grow this event by making changes as we see fit. We are still pretty new to this type of event.”
He wanted to thank everyone for their help in getting the event together so far.
“As we know, in a small community it is very important to have people and volunteers on board to make this as successful as possible. Without the people and volunteers, none of this would be possible,” he said.
“As far as the workload goes, we have a tremendous Winterfest group and volunteers that continue to work hard in order to get things ready for the event. There is a lot of workload being shared by all as we all live busy lives.”
Zanidean is excited for the prospects of the event.
“We are really looking forward to this event in February and are hoping the community and surrounding areas are looking forward too.”
Gull Lake Mayor Blake Campbell says he wants the event to “be big enough to attract people from other communities,” and thinks they can do it.
“We have been making some progress on that front,” he said. “We’re going to draw a lot of people in. and we have lots of activities and little surprises planned for people.”
Campbell is all about improving on the solid base they already have.
“I’m really excited. It’s getting close and we’re hoping to be bigger and better. Gail Kesslar, director of the CHDA, attended our last meeting and gave some valuable input,” he said.
“We really appreciated it, and she’s continuing to help us. She was quite impressed with what we’re doing.”
Campbell is confident there will be something for everyone this year.
“We’ve dropped some things and added some things. From the first one to this one, we’re really finding a groove,” he said.
“We made some changes this year, and we’re going to draw people out. We’ve really evaluated what has worked in the past and what hasn’t, and adjusted accordingly.”
The mayor will refuse to let some sunshine rain on his event, and contingencies are in place in case the weather stays warm.
“We have really lucked out, as the last couple of Winterfests have been nice. I want it to be nice, but maybe not this nice,” he said on Wednesday.
“But I’m very happy with the direction this event is going and I can’t wait for it.”
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