Over the weekend, people packed the streets for Sam Steele Days celebrations.
Laura Kennedy, Sam Steele Days co-ordinator, said this was one of the most well-attended events she’s seen, and was helped along by the summer weather.
“Everything went really well. The weather was really awesome on the weekend,” Kennedy said. “We had record numbers out watching the parade, down at the central fairgrounds on Saturday. We had huge participation in the ball and soccer tournaments. It was just a wonderful weekend.”
She couldn’t estimate the exact numbers attending the parade, but said it was in the thousands.
After the parade, everyone headed over to Rotary Park, where people could sample food from all over the area in the Taste of Cranbrook event, check out the talent competition or purchase crafts and other goods from the many vendors. There was also face-painting, a petting zoo and balloon park for kids.
The Strongman competition took place right beside the park, while just down the road, the wiener dog races and lumberjack competition were going on.
She estimated 5,000-6,000 people in the fairgrounds, the area from Baker Street to Rotary Park.
“We were very happy with the way things went,” she said. “I would say attendance was definitely up this year.”
There were also sweetheart participants from other areas in attendance at the pageant and in the parade.
“We had more visiting royalty this year than we’ve had in a couple of years,” she said.
Kennedy said the event is planned throughout the year by a core committee of 12 people, who then reach the different organizers of the events taking place.
“I would say there are probably 500 people involved one way or another in the daily activities,” she said. “There are probably 60 volunteers just working on the parade alone. Then you look at the ball tournament, there’s got to be 100 volunteers working on that event.”
When you factor in all the other events, the volunteer contribution is quickly felt.
Kennedy said the city and its staff were great to work with, as well as the corporate sponsors.
“It just really is a community event to make this thing happen,’ she said. “A big thank you to Cranbrook and everyone who came out and was either participating or spectating. It was a great weekend.”
She invites everyone to come out and celebrate next year when it will be the 50th anniversary of Sam Steele Days.