PHOTOS: Biggest Hope Brigade Days ever

Brent England of Abbotsford accepts his top overall trophy from Scott Medlock which comes with a $1,100 prize. England came out first of all 52 participating drivers over the weekend. Greg Laychak/Black Press
(Left to right) Matteo Grata, Marcus Wilson and Tyson Souker enjoy the classic Tilt-a-Whirl ride at Brigade Days on Sunday. Greg Laychak/Black Press
Shayne Ralston tries to keep ahead of demand for his fries while customers wait in line during Brigade Days on Sunday. Ralston estimates that he went through about 2,000 pounds of potatoes over the weekend out of his Chariot of Fries truck. It’s the best year he’s seen in his six years at the event and he gives credit to organizers saying, “Whatever they did this year, they rocked it.” Greg Laychak/Black Press
Motorsports are a mainstay at Brigade Days. Greg Laychak/Black Press
Motorsports are a mainstay at Brigade Days. Greg Laychak/Black Press
Robert Rowan (left) and Victor Cronley entertain the beer tent crowd on Sunday. Greg Laychak/Black Press
The Try Hards beat the Méles 30-20 to win the championship in Sunday’s Caesar Soares two-pitch tournament. Greg Laychak/Black Press
Hope team the Méles lost 30-20 to the Try Hards in Sunday’s Caesar Soares two-pitch tournament final. Greg Laychak/Black Press
The soggy weather made for a muddy demo derby show on Sunday. Greg Laychak/Black Press
The Seattle Cossacks motorcycle stunt and drill team entertained the crowds before and after the Brigade Days parade Sept. 8. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
The Seattle Cossacks motorcycle stunt and drill team entertained the crowds before and after the Brigade Days parade Sept. 8. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
A young parade participant waves to the crowd. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Not one, but two dragons were quite the colourful sight at Hope’s Brigade Days parade along Wallace St. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Hope Secondary’s class of 2019 represented at the annual Brigade Days parade. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Deb Ireland went by in a flash at Saturday’s parade. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
This parade team did not tire of doing cartwheels and cheerleading stunts all the way up Wallace St. Saturday. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Entertainment aplenty at the Brigade Days parade Sept. 8. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
It went swimmingly for the RiverMonsters at Saturday’s parade. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Young cadets salute the ‘founding fathers’ during Hope’s annual Brigade Days parade along Wallace St. Saturday, Sept. 8. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
The Silver-Hope Dance Academy’s dancers busted a move to the song of the summer, Despacito. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
The Seattle Cossacks motorcycle stunt and drill team entertained the crowds before and after the Brigade Days parade Sept. 8. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
A young superhero hands out candy to the waiting crowds along Wallace St. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Past presidents got a good seat in several convertibles. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Briggie Pete visits with some young Brigade Days attendees before the start of Saturday’s parade. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard
Hope’s own Swampwater opened for April Wine Saturday night. Evan Empey photo
The biggest headliner Brigade Days has had in its 50 year history, April Wine, performed Saturday night. Evan Empey photo

The golden anniversary of Hope Brigade Days turned out to be the event’s biggest celebration ever.

The 50th annual gathering saw around 7,000 take in all the festivities, which ran from Friday to Sunday.

Event vice-president Lori Isbister said the 50th celebration was a memorable one.

“We had record attendance and I think the biggest crowd ever,” she said. “It was just a very successful weekend for us.”

Isbister said Saturday’s parade was a big highlight, noting that the Seattle Cossacks motorcycle stunt and drill team were “phenomenal”. The team also made a special performance to seniors who were unable to check out the parade.

Another thrill was seeing legendary Canadian rock band April Wine hit the stage on Saturday night. She said the rockers brought a huge crowd, but that Hope band Swampwater, who played just prior also thrilled the crowd

“It was completely packed for April Wine – and just think how many people would have been there if it was sunny,” she said. “And I think Swampwater was a huge highlight. A lot of people came from out of town and they really impressed people who hadn’t seen them before.”

The event’s big success also led to a few minor issues with event attendees. Isbister acknowledged challenges with the popularity of the beer garden, and also the new smoking by-law rules frustrating some Brigade Day goers. She said the organizing committee will be working to improve on those issues for 2019.

“We had a few growing pains this year because there was such a huge influx of people,” she said. “Next year we promise to address their concerns because in the end we just want to make this the best experience as possible for everyone.”

Isbister also thanked the efforts of the hard working people, who helped with clean-up and organization and who the unsung heroes helped make the event succeed.

For more on the event, visit brigadedays.com.


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