This year’s Brigade Days were a rip-roaring time for all in attendance, even though less people partook in the fun and games that were spread across Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of last week.
“Overall, I think it was quite successful,” said Lori Isbister, who Chairs the Hope Brigade Days Society board, which comprises seven other members.
“Attendance was a bit lower than normal, but it was a comfortable amount of people with COVID” still present in the area, Isbister continued.
The Society, said Isbister, typically has more time to put the long-standing event together, however, this year they really pushed their deadlines.
“We were always hopeful that we could (host the event this year, but) we waited until the province entered into Stage 3 to begin planning,” Isbister explained.
“We planned around the Stage 3 requirements in hopes that B.C. would hit Stage 4 in early September. But we got to a point where we had to bite the bullet and move forward with paying deposits. We faced challenges we’ve never encountered before, like restricted seating, but there was still a lot of positives that came out of the weekend,” continued the board chair.
“The music was fantastic, people attended the food trucks and midway all weekend long, and I thought the parade was fairly well attended.
“Some of the entertainers went to Fraser Valley Lodge, where seniors have (begun to feel locked in after nearly two years of COVID), and that was a big bonus. The (residents) were able to go outside and have the band play for them, and the (other performers) went and put on a mini-parade for them. So that was really great (for them, and) for me,” said Isbister, in a voice that alluded to the happy tears forming in her eyes.
While this year’s Brigade Days attendance didn’t break any records, Isbister says it was for the best, as this allowed the Society to maintain the very necessary physical distancing space required for attendees to remain safe. But attendance numbers aren’t the only measure of success.
The first time online tickets were sold for Brigade Days was in 2019, said Isbister; they sold 188. This year, there were almost 4,000 online ticket sales. Going digital is always a bit of a learning curve, added Isbister, but from the numerous local volunteers who stepped up to help, to the tremendous efforts of the board and involved service groups, as well as the District of Hope, and even ticket holders: “It’s all those piece together that made it a success. It’s phenomenal to have the community come together and make this happen.”
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