A fabulous 50th Pow Wow Days
It started and ended with a bang.
Fighter jets from 4 Wing Cold Lake got the 50th Pow Wow Days started Friday morning with a screaming flyover down Main Street before the parade. Three days later, the spectacular $15,000 fireworks display—complete with exotic fire breathers—closed the weekend in extraordinary fashion on Sunday evening.
Organizers say the big 5-0 was everything they’d hoped for: a joyous celebration of sights, sounds, thrills, friends, and summer. Long-time Pow Wow Days president Karen Lewiski was not afraid to say that last weekend was the best year ever.
“It was the number-one,” Lewiski said. “From beginning to the end, everything was amazing. And that’s what we wanted to do for the 50th: we wanted it to be special and memorable for the community.”
Lewiski and other Pow Wow volunteers put in countless hours organizing events, listening to input, and dealing with the excruciating minutiae of pulling off simultaneous events throughout the weekend.
Monica Smith, a 16-year Pow Wow Days organizer, said she put in five hour days for the last 10 months planning for last weekend.
And all the planning payed off beautifully. The weekend had all the classic events: the ball tournament, the fish derby, the sailboat race, Homemade Jam, the water bombers, the midway, horseshoe tournament, biathlon, grounds entertainment (and the list goes on).
There were also some new events, like the Traditional Native Village (see pg. 4), the Homecoming Gala, and the Historic Display & Memorabilia to keep things fresh.
Lewiski said attendance numbers were consistent with years past, maybe a little bit higher than 2011 (see next week’s Post for a more in-depth story).
The Pow Wow president said her highlight was the Charlie Major concert Saturday evening (see pg. 11). And after seven summers as Pow Wow President, Lewiski said this will be her last year. This will also be Smith’s last year as a director.
Lewiski called on Lac La Biche’s younger generation to step up to plan future Pow Wows.
“They can bring in new ideas,” she said.
“It’s not an easy job—like anything there are glitches and frustrations—but it is fun, and it always turns out in the end.”
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