The bocce pits at Baker Park are a heavily attended source of fun during Sam Steele Days.

The bocce pits at Baker Park are a heavily attended source of fun during Sam Steele Days.

Sam Steele Days approaching

With the festivities of Sam Steele Days only a couple weeks away, organizers are gearing up for another great event this year.

With the festivities of Sam Steele Days only a couple weeks away, organizers are gearing up for another great event this year. Sam Steele Days runs from June 18 – 21.

Maureen Frank, co-coordinator/volunteer with the Sam Steele Society, said the this year’s event is shaping up to be a great one.

“It’s going to absolutely amazing for this year,” Frank said. “Last year, for the 50th we knew it would be great. And because of the success of last year, there are other people now who heard about the event and are coming up to us and wanting to support us.”

Some of the society’s board members are retiring  — a number of them after 30 years of volunteering on the board.

“Karin Penner has been there since the beginning — she’s been there for 51 years,” Frank noted.

Frank also said there are some young members of the board as well.

“We are really interested in finding people who are community minded who would like to join the board,” she said, adding that it is a working board, rather than just a consulting board. “You take on a particular part of the festival and you do actually coordinate and facilitate it with a lot of help from everyone else, and of course myself doing the admin part of it.”

As for the festival itself, all the popular events are coming back. That includes the Strongman, wiener dog races, go-cart rides and logger sports demonstrations.

“They are all back because the crowds keep coming,” she said.

The arm wrestling competition at the Byng is also now being sanctioned by the Sam Steele Days event.

The central fair grounds will have five inflatables for kids to bounce to their hearts content.

“We also have free carnival games, free entertainment,” she said. “Our market has really taken off this year, we’ll have a market on both Saturday and Sunday.”

The market is not limited to arts and crafts this year, and will include small home businesses as well.

“We will have the most variety we’ve ever had in our Taste of Cranbrook food vendor event,” she said. There will be everything from Japanese sushi to Greek souvlaki to Southern-style barbecue. There will also be plenty of other foods like hot dogs, hamburgers and sweets.

There will also be many interactive booths this year from local and regional organizations. Frank said one of the stipulations to set up a booth was it couldn’t be just informational and had to include games and activities.

“Kids don’t want to stand around and learn about electricity that way,” she said. “They want to play a game that will teach them something. These booths are becoming more and more amazing all the time.”

The Sunday in the Park event will be even bigger than last year with music going from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. There will also be plenty of mascots there.

The moustache competition is also happening on Sunday. Last year there were 38 entrants.

Frank noted the directors on the board are amazing people. Some of them are retired, but most have a job as well.

“They are so focused and so dedicated. They do a great job to bring exposure to our city in organizing this festival for the city.”

She also noted one of the goals is to keep the bulk of the events free for families.

“The only way we can do that is throughout the continued support of the community, and we thank everybody for that,” Frank said. “It’s been really good.”