When tickets went on sale for the 2014 Jingle Boat Express on Saturday, Nov. 15, people started lining up at Northern Savings at 7 a.m. Christmas music was playing in the lobby and hot chocolate was being served outside. The tickets sold out in under five minutes. The response was incredible.
“We were blown away by the response from the community. The 170 tickets we had set out for the sale were sold out within minutes. We were quite happy going into this that we were increasing the capacity for the event from the 140 tickets available in past years, but clearly the demand goes well beyond that,” said Northern Savings Credit Union branch manager Stefan Delloch.
“We’d like to thank West Coast Launch who have been absolutely fantastic in terms of partnering on this event and being flexible to add a third sailing at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 11 which will open up approximately 90 additional tickets to be sold, with a maximum four per person.”
The Prince Rupert Port Authority notes that any interested participants can head to the Port Interpretative Centre from Thursday, Nov. 27 to Saturday Nov. 29 to fill out a contest entry ballot between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Winners will be determined via random draw with only one entry being allowed per person and with entry only valid for those who have not already purchased Jingle Boat Express tickets. Duplicate entries will be disqualified and winners will be notified by Tuesday, Dec.2.
“We know that no matter how many sailings occur, there is going to be more demand than what is possible to supply. It is difficult, but the alternative is for the event to not occur (like in 2013). And at the end of the day, it is all about the children and all about the community,” said Delloch.
The Jingle Boat Express event will likely cost over $5,000 (not including volunteer time) to put on which is being absorbed entirely by Success by 6, the Prince Rupert Port Authority and Northern Savings Credit Union.
All ticket sales are being donated to the Salvation Army to purchase presents for children in need during the holidays
“I would first like to acknowledge West Coast Launch for their contribution of two hours of volunteer time allowing for loading and unloading. Providing this time to the event at no cost has greatly assisted the community partners in being able to offer a third sailing. I anticipated a large line as I remember lining up at 7 a.m. myself to get tickets on the Jingle Bell Express. However, I didn’t anticipate such a huge line up or how hard it was going to be to tell so many people that the event was sold out,” said Kate Toye of Success by Six.
“Of course we would like every child in our community to have this wonderful experience … we hope this will be the first of many Jingle Boat Expresses for the children and families in our community.”