The Situation Room – Honey Festival has much to offer, we’re fortunate to have it

Mac Olsen

There was certainly a lot to take in at this year’s Honey Festival in Falher, especially given that this is the 25th year for the event.

There was the parade, of course, which made its way down Main Street and around the residential area. The kids were certainly eager to collect the candy tossed from the vehicles and brightly decorated floats.

Al Singer and his volunteers held the second annual walk/run fundraiser. It started and ended at the Smoky River Tourism building.

A lot of people participated and the proceeds certainly go to a worthy cause. This year, he’s giving the money to the Canadian Mental Health Association. Last year, he gave it to humanitarian relief efforts related to the Fort McMurray wildfires.

My only qualm about the event was that, as the start time drew near, drivers going in and out of the Falher campground had no regard for the participants’ safety. They hurried to get around the participants and could have hit and injured one or more of them.

Hopefully, the drivers will show more courtesy next year, if it starts and ends at the Smoky River Tourism building. Or the police should be called upon to control traffic flow.

There were plenty of kids’ activities at the Honey Capital Park, including face painting and a soccer clinic. Smoky River Fire and Rescue held their ‘Can You Beat a First Responder?’ obstacle course.

Then there was the Honey Pot Vendors Market, with merchants offering their wares and crafts.

Let’s not forget the Show N Shine on Main Street. It’s always nice to see who’s got a classic car or truck to proudly display. And for the ‘Fast and Furious’ enthusiasts, there were the modern, high-performance street machines.

The entertainment was first rate, including SaFire and her hula-hoop demonstrations; Renelle Simard; the Trin and Ariane duo; the Sweet Clover Honey Band; Shelly Dubois and her band; and C.Alice.

Fernando Sanchez offered his bee beard demonstration, with his wife, Edith Sanchez, assisting.

An event like the Honey Festival requires a lot of volunteers. Many people devoted a lot of time to organizing and setting up this event. I offered my services for a few hours to help set up one of the tents for the Honey Pot Vendors Market.

I’ve seen summer community events like this one from British Columbia to Manitoba. I grew up in Kamloops, B.C. in the early 1980’s when they had their ‘Spoolmak’ event. Sadly, it was discontinued in the mid 1980s because it couldn’t be sustained financially.

Then there’s ‘Nickel Belt Days’ in Thompson, Manitoba. That community’s existence has been/was based on nickel mining for decades and the community sought to recognize the importance of that industry by holding their event each summer.

It’s summer events like the Honey Festival that show a community’s pride – or a region’s pride – and we should do all we can to preserve and promote it.

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