Trout Festival president Laurie Sealey didn’t get much of a chance to take in the festivities – she was too busy at the Whitney Forum running the Fish Fry. She said from what she heard the reception was great, especially for new attraction, Eric the Juggler.
“Anita Pruden came at the end of the day on Saturday and she said in the in 10 years she’s been involved, she’s never seen a crowd like she did on Main Street for the juggler,” Sealey said.
“I heard from a few others that he was absolutely fantastic.”
Sealey said she will need more volunteers for next year, as she was at the rink until nearly 4 a.m. the next day. “I needed more volunteers and committee heads,” she said. “I realized I need a little more help.”
Sealey said she wants to reduce the workload for the rest of the committee as well.
“The people I had were truly amazing,” she said.
“I could not have done what I’ve done and learned, without this committee I had. I thank them massively.” Sealey said just pulling off the festival this year was a challenge and is looking forward to a more patient build up next year.
“It was so fast and furious trying to get things ready,” she said. “I just went with what a few people said had worked.”
With Flin Flon’s population in decline, Sealey said the festival committee has worked hard to try and live up to the standard from previous festivals.
“We had over 15,000 people, now we have only 5,000,” she said. “In the grand scheme of things, it’s never going to be like it was, but we would like to get it to a point where it’s close.”
With next year’s festival being the 70th annual event, Sealey hopes to draw in a bigger out-of-town crowd.
“We still want people to enjoy the festivities, the different activities, and hopefully we’ll bring more of our people back home.”
Sealey said the work for next year’s festival will really ramp up in October, and the committee has plans to make it bigger and better.
“Next year is the 70th here, but it’s also Manitoba’s 150th year, so we’re going to try and combine those celebrations,” she said. “I’ve already had people step up.”
Sealey said she didn’t want to spoil any potential surprises, but is excited for when the festival begins to take shape.
“I’m not giving anything away,” she said laughing.