Let Me Entertain You
Photo by Kyle Hamilton
There are times in Fernie when things heat up so much that you need to get a little bit guerrilla just to keep pace. Mid-August is the height of summer; endless sunshine, a trail network worth getting lost in, lakes and rivers beckoning and amazing live entertainment every week. From the East Kootenay Roller Derby League Semi Finals and Porky’s Revenge on Saturday, August 4, right through to Heiko’s Hellish Half on Saturday, August 25, it’s non-stop, adrenalin-fuelled excitement here in Fernie this August with plenty of chilled out moments on the river, at a downtown social event or relaxing with some live entertainment. Culminating in a central, wild weekend on August 10-12, this is a month to stick around for. Throw on a little camo, grab your supplies and get ready to party, we’ve got all the high-octane action you can handle this month!
The Kootenay’s hottest weekend includes Wapiti- Fernie’s Music Festival, the Elko Annual Country Festival of Entertainers, Show n’ Shine Sunday Social, He/She Tournament at the Fernie Golf and Country Club, Roll and Rock Mountain Bike Weekend, Highline 100 road bike ride (it’s not a race, people!) BibBity BobBity Boo, and Canada’s only event in the World Series of wakesurfing, the Koocanusa Wakesurfing Challenge. Keep your cool with my survival guide:
Top 10 Tips:
10. Participate - If you're into wakesurfing and have been looking for a chance to put your skills to the test, now's your chance at World Championship level – yes, you can compete too! Register for the He/She Golf Tournament at FGCC or sign up for the Highline 100 - a great way to challenge your road biking skills on a 100 mile or 100km tour through the beautiful South Country.
9. Volunteer - A weekend like this will need hundreds of volunteers and thousands of volunteer hours to be a success. Contact any of the organizing groups and they’ll be happy to put you to work. Rewards include a weekend of awesomeness, the biggest smile you’ll ever have on your face and much, much more.
8. Watch for weather - This is the mountains in August. Prepare for extreme heat, hailstones and thunderstorms. Bring sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses, an umbrella and a warm sweater. Carry a water bottle – free water fill ups are available at Wapiti.
7. Learn from the Pros - Dominic Lagace and Chase Hazen will be sharing their wakesurfing skills through clinics and camps on Lake Koocanusa, August 6 - 8 and 13 - 15. If you prefer to hit the trails, sign up for the Roll and Rock Mountain Bike Weekend, August 11 -12, at The Guide’s Hut.
6. Bring the kids - Kids activities and entertainment are the focus of the day at BibBity BobBity Boo (BBB) on Sunday, August 12 in Rotary Park, and will also be available at Wapiti and The Elko Festival of Entertainers.
5. Put down the tongs – This is no weekend to be meal planning or doing dishes. Food will be available at all events from food vendors at the Wakesurfing challenge and Wapiti, to home-cooked treats in Elko and Market goodies at Rotary Park.
4. Plan ahead - Events kick off on Friday evening at 6pm on Friday, August 10 at Wapiti and continue all weekend. Sunday highlights include the Wakesurfing Finals, Classic Cars at the Sunday Social and bubbles, balloons and bouncy castles at BBB. Some events may require advance registration to participate – don’t leave it until the last minute!
3. Organize your ride - If you’re attending one of the downtown Fernie events, everything is within walking or biking distance. Wapiti has a giant, free bike check – bring your own bike lock. The Wakesurfing Challenge takes place at Gold Bay approx one hour from Fernie. Carpool where possible and please don’t drink and drive.
2. Enjoy! Wapiti – Fernie’s very own music festival will get you on your feet and ready to rock with the sound of Canadian Indie heroes Born Ruffians, who headline on Saturday alongside old favourites Five Alarm Funk. Classic Cars are a rare sight in Fernie and will be a great attraction in downtown Fernie on Sunday, August 12.
1. Bonus Tips: You can’t bring alcohol to Wapiti, but the refreshment garden is even bigger and better this year with Gehringer and Baillie-Grohman wines, FBC beers and new treats from Orchard Hill Cidery. Don’t miss a minute of the Wakesurfing action: Watch the KWC live online while you’re at other events via Wake9.com. Save a little for later! Bars around town will have live music after Wapiti finishes.