Rainfall on the second day of the fireworks competition at Moosomin Lake didn’t dampen enthusiasm for the Living Skies Come Alive fireworks competition on the August long weekend.
“I think it went really well,” said organizer Michele Shaw. “It was awesome. Because of the weather, there was a delay on Sunday night, but that worked out well for us.
“We sold approximately 7,200 wristbands. Last year it was around 6,500, so we’re up, and that was good.
“Those are the people coming through the gate,” continued Shaw. “You have to remember there are lots of cabins and we had people there in campers. Because of the way the park is set up we can never get a true number of attendance. Some people are there well in advance as well. They never buy a wristband but they’re in the park.”
She said she believes the Living Skies Come Alive weekend was a success as a fundraiser. “Our expenses were up this year because of the two entertainers that we had, so that was an added expense. There’s that expense to consider, but we’ve definitely made money for sure.”
“Our volunteers that did come out did an exceptional job. We couldn’t do it without the volunteers.”
Shaw says she had a chance to speak to more visitors this year and heard a lot of good comments about the event.
“Normally I spend all my time at the gate and I don’t really get to witness everything that goes on at the bottom of the hill,” she said. “This year Ross and I volunteered at the gate on Saturday, and on Sunday, we didn’t have to work the gate so we did parking. It’s amazing, you get different feedback from people because when they’re coming through the gate they haven’t seen anything yet. Working parking, people would come up to me and ask me questions, and say what a wonderful time they had. We had people from Birtle who said that they couldn’t believe there was a little gem like this that close to them. They had no idea it was here. They said they loved fishing, and they couldn’t believe they could come here to fish. We had a whole van load of people who came from a family reunion in Reston. Lots of the family came from Nova Scotia, and they couldn’t believe what a beautiful park we had. One lady thought that it was a provincial park because it was so beautiful.”
She said she really enjoyed hearing all the compliments about the park.
“After you work really hard, it’s really nice to hear,” said Shaw. “Prior to, you only hear the bad things, people complaining about having to pay, that it’s too much, that people don’t want to volunteer. To me, that’s how communities stay together. You volunteer and you help keep things going, but everyone has a different opinion, so prior to it, you only hear the grouching.”
Shaw says the board has to decide whether to hold the fireworks competition again next year. “It’s really up in the air if it will go on next year,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s successful and it’s a good fundraiser for the park. The park needs money to continue to make improvements. We want to put a playground structure in the main campground. There are so many improvements that we’d like to do.
“This year I had people come up and tell me it was definitely well worth the $10 that they paid. They said that the entertainment was excellent and then the fireworks alone were worth the $10. We’ve had people from Regina and Saskatoon that have watched the fireworks displays that those cities put on, and they’ve said that this is just as good, or better because of the atmosphere.”
She said she continues to hear compliments after the fireworks weekend. “After the show, the positive things outweigh the negative by far.
“It does seem to be growing, and part of that is because we’ve become more efficient, so we know how to get them into the park and out of the park in a timely manner. On Friday, before the fireworks town seemed very busy. I’m hoping that was partly because of the fireworks. People told me that they were staying in hotels in town instead of travelling home during the day, and that’s good because then they go to our restaurants and support our town. Any time something positive happens in the community, it’s a plus. We had a lot of people from the north, like Yorkton and that area, and that was nice that they were able to come down and see something so fun and entertaining.
“One thing we’ve talked about is if we do it again, we can’t do it ourselves anymore. It’s getting big enough that it’s stressing our board to the max. We have eight members on our board, so it’s basically eight people that do all this work. It’s a little much. There are lots of ideas that have been floating around. January’s the time that we have to book the fireworks at the latest, so we will have to decide by then.”