There will be no hot chocolate or any land activities for this year’s Winterfest in Prince Rupert on Saturday night due to a lack of volunteers. (File photo)

No land events for Winterfest’s Sailpast 2017

The bonfire, music and hot chocolate are cancelled for Saturday night due to a lack of volunteers

There will be no hot chocolate, bonfire or music this year for Winterfest — the land events on Saturday night have been cancelled due a lack of dedicated volunteers.

“We just found over the last three years that we have less and less volunteers. It’s gotten to the point where it’s so tough, my two main volunteers said, ‘I’m not doing this again. It’s midnight, I’m soaking wet and we’re the only ones here doing this’,” said Joy Sundin, Prince Rupert Special Events Society coordinator.

For the small, dedicated troop of volunteers, the last four Winterfest have ended like this — cold, alone and more than ready to go home.

“The directors made that difficult decision to not host the Saturday night land events. Anything,” Sundin said.

It will be the first time in the tradition’s known history that there won’t be land events.

In early December, boats of all kinds participate in the annual Sailpast, decked out with lights and decorations for Winterfest as they cruise by crowds of onlookers. It’s one of the few times a year that Rupert’s sky explodes with colourful fireworks.

This year is the 36th annual Christmas carol boats, an event which was incorporated into Winterfest — now in its 22nd year — by the Prince Rupert Special Events Society.

READ MORE: THE FUSE TO THE FESTIVALS

“Hopefully it’s a wake up call to the community to say there has to be volunteers that come forward, to commit some time to come out and help put this on. Because the few volunteers — I hate to say it — but we’re all in our mid-60s and we just need some help,” Sundin said.

“I try to get students to come down from the high school, but I haven’t had enough in the last two years. I run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to do it all.”

WATCH MORE: HIGHLIGHTS FROM WINTERFEST 2016

The rest of Winterfest 2017 will continue as in the past, starting on Dec. 1 with the CBC’s food bank, children’s tree decorating, museum events and thousands of lights in front of the courthouse. Saturday carries on the festivities with the pancake breakfast and photos with Santa Claus, the craft and gift fair at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre, a free skate and swim, the Santa Clause Parade and, finally, the Sailpast.

Sundin hopes that the land events will resume next year, but they will only be possible with the help of more volunteers.

Registration for the Santa Claus Parade will be open until Nov. 29.

Email

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive garnishes generous portions

Food donations will sustain the Prince Rupert Food Bank for three months.

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Haida hereditary chief is BC Liberal Candidate for North Coast Region

Roy Jones Jr. is named BC Liberal MLA candidate for the North Coast

$3.4 million childcare centre to be built in Lax Kw’alaams

Lax Kw’alaams funding has been approved through the provincial New Spaces Fund

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read