Saturday, March 6, 2010

Victoria Day fireworks in Riverside Park at risk

Posted Feb 26, 2010 By Charelle Evelyn

Detais: EMC News - The city's only Victoria Day fireworks may be coming to an end if the event does not generate the necessary support.

The Riverside Park Community and Recreation Association (RPCRA) has hosted a Victoria Day Fireworks and Family Gala for almost 40 years. However, this May will be the deciding factor if the event carries on.

"The economy is hitting a bit of a bump that effects any group that relies on a majority of sponsors," said Carolyn Gauthier, association vice-president.

In order to ensure the event's continuation, the association will require a strong volunteer base in addition to sponsors, she said.

The event requires more than 30 volunteers throughout the day to help with the barbeque and children's activities, to run patrols when it gets dark and to help with cleanup afterwards, said Ms. Gauthier.

Though she would not go as far to say that the city needs a Victoria Day fireworks display, Ms. Gauthier acknowledged that it would be sorely missed within the community.

"The Riverside Park area has a lot of the first families who established the neighbourhood who come back with their children's children," she said.

Attendance will also be a considering factor in whether or not the event continues.

"The weather has not helped," said Ms. Gauthier. "We've had a few rainy years."

According to Ms. Gauthier, on a year with good weather, the park can see as many as 5,000 people.

So far planning for this year's event has started as normal and for the most part it seems the event will carry on as it has in the past.

Previous galas have included performances by different local acts, presentations from Little Ray's Reptiles, as well as face and ceramic painting.

"We might have to make it a little smaller this year for budget reasons," Ms. Gauthier said.

For more information about this event, or to volunteer, contact coordinator Erin Fitzpatrick at 613-521-7521.


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