The fifth annual Family Fishing Derby is just over a month away and organizers are already getting ready for the event.
Last year the event had to be cancelled because of unseasonably warm weather.
The derby takes place on Horseshoe Lake — last year the ice was too thin to safely hold the event. This year however, Shane Westle, founder and event co-ordinator, said the ice is looking good this year.
“There’s already 12 inches of ice on the lake right now,” he said, so it is looking good for this year. “There’s way more ice than we had last year and a little over a month to go.”
The derby is on Feb. 10, which is also Family Day in B.C.
Westle started the derby in honour of a friend who passed away from cancer.
“It was about six years ago when Mira Morrison passed away,” Westle said. Her husband, also a close friend of Westle also recently passed away. This year there is a new event in their honour: the Morrison shooting gallery.
The derby brings in people of all ages and Westle said they expect 1,500 people to come out.
“We get all ages, from newborns all the way up to people in their 90s,” he said. “We have a lot of different things going on during the day. A lot of different games for the kids. We have women’s ski jumping and a best dressed dog contest.”
The Fresh Water Fisheries Society is coming to teach kids how to ice fish.
Then there are all sorts of other activities including toboggan races, milk jug bowling, best catch fish decorating, snow painting, tug of war and snowball toss.
Every year they also do a draw to send a kid to Disneyland. The trip is donated every year by Dacota Freight, along with $1,000 spending money.
Half of the funds raised for the derby goes to emergency aid for kids with Canadian Cancer Society programs and the other half goes into an account that the Family Fishing Derby administers directly.
“We’re helping a girl in Kimberley that just got her cancer back recently,” he said. She is currently undergoing chemo at the Calgary Children’s Hospital. “We’ll be helping her out this week and she’ll be in the draw as well.”
To take part in the derby, no fishing license is necessary. Entry tickets are required to participate in events. There are are also prizes for the fishing derby: the top prize is a 12 foot Lund boat and trailer. The first place prize for kids is a 50 inch TV and a Playstation 4.
There will also be a 50/50 draw, door prizes and a silent auction.
For more info on the derby go to www.familyfishingderby.com.