JulyFest 2015 packed in the crowds in Kimberley

JulyFest wrapped up this past weekend and organizers said the event was a success.

JulyFest wrapped up this past weekend and organizers said the event was a success.

Mike Guarnery, from the Kimberley and District Chamber of Commerce, said the city was packed with festival-goers over the weekend.

“We had wonderful attendance, the participants at the bocce appeared to have a wonderful time,” Guarnery said. “The volunteers from Kimberley and Cranbrook were incredibly helpful and completely invaluable in getting all the tasks done that we needed. The musicians that came and played were fantastic.”

There were about 75 volunteers that worked on the bocce pit, parade and arena.

“The parade was wonderful,” he said. “When you look at the festivities and you look at the fun they’re having, and talking to some of the employers, they had really good solid business throughout the weekend too.”

He noted the hard work the volunteers put in, as well as the JulyFest board of directors and JulyFest coordinator Jason Toner.

Guarnery also said that without the support from the City of Kimberley the event would not have run so smoothly.

“It was so valuable and greatly appreciated beyond words. I don’t even know what to say about the city employees; they are fantastic,” he said. “During the event when we needed things moved or forklifted or bobcat, just in getting some details down on the final logistics at the last minute, during the whole event, whatever changes we would have to make to just make things run more streamline. They were incredibly helpful and would work with us.”

Guarnery said the attendance was fantastic. He said on the Friday there was between 1,500 — 1,800 people through the gates over the course of the day. On Saturday, there was 2,200 though the day.

He said there was about 800 people that attended the concert in the Civic Centre on Saturday night.

He said when compared to last year, the bocci pit attendance was similar, but the concert attendance was lower.

“They didn’t have quite the catalogue that (last year’s performers) Big Sugar and Wide Mouth Mason had. We knew that was going to be a very big draw. I was still very pleased and it was a great rock and roll show, from One Bad Son, the Wild, and the Honeymans.”

A debrief is planned for next week, and then planning will begin for next years event.

“We need to take a look at the things that went really well, and take a look at the things that we can do better in how we look at the event as it moves forward,” he said.

A water park is planned for the area where the bocce is currently played, so that will be one of the considerations taken into account for next year. The Rotary Club is fundraising for the park, so Guarnery said they will have to have discussions to find out what the timeline is.

“First we really need to debrief on this year, then we can make the appropriate plans for next year,” he said. “We’ll be looking at community engagement at things going forward.”

Guarnery also noted the great job that organizers did on the soccer tournament, 5/10 km run, and the long boarding.

“There are so many activities going on,” he said. “We saw smiles on people’s faces and people having fun. That’s what a festival is all about.”