People often only consider cemeteries during a time of death, which is something the Prince Rupert Cemetery Advisory Committee wants to change.
The group is organizing the fourth annual Prince Rupert Cemetery Day celebration, which will include the first ever Fairview Cemetery Tombstone Challenge, on Thursday, May 1.
The annual event was created four years ago to encourage more community involvement in improving and visiting Fairview Cemetery.
Committee member Tanya Ostrom said Rupertites should attend the event to respect those who rest at the cemetery.
“It raises awareness for the cemetery, and helps with annual maintenance and clean up,” said Ostrom.
The Cemetery Advisory Committee is hoping Rupertites will team up for this year’s Tombstone Challenge, which will have groups assigned equal segments of the cemetery to clean the stones.
Teams can be made up of anyone and have as many people as they want participating.
“We want everyone to come out,” said committee member Dawn Quast.
“We’re hoping for as many teams as possible.”
Nothing will be provided to teams participating, aside from water. Teams are being advised to bring cleaning tools like bristle, nylon or plastic brushes, wooden sticks, tongue depressors, buckets and whatever else they see fit, aside from metal tools which won’t be permitted for cleaning stones. People can, however, bring metal tools intended for edging the grass flush to the stones. Plain ammonia or gentle dish soap can be used but must be rinsed off.
Teams will have to follow cleaning rules and have the tools they bring inspected, with the duel beginning at 5 p.m. and concluding at 7:30 p.m.
Judges will then tally the results with the trophy being awarded to the winner at 8 p.m. Judges will have multiple criteria by which they will select winners and encourage people to get creative with costumes.
Coffee and refreshments will be available throughout at the Cemetery office.