Granite Town Festival in dire need of volunteers - Mar. 14, 2013
Charlotte-The Isles MLA Rick Doucet and Mayor Danny Henry are shown here working the barbecues during the 2012 Granite Town Festival. The free steak and pork chop meal, which last year served more than 600 people, will be scaled back to a less-expensive alternative for the 2013 event.
Unless more volunteers come forward, the committee organizing this year’s Granite Town Festival will have to drastically reduce the events planned for this family oriented weekend in July.
Coun. Faith Avery, who chairs the town’s tourism and town pride committee which oversees the festival, told town council Monday night that there is a desperate need for volunteers in order to put on these events and numbers right now are at an all-time low.
“I cannot stress enough that if we don’t get volunteers we will be losing events and activities.”
The town’s tourism/community pride committee is currently planning events for the festival which will take place Jul. 19 to 21.
Avery said based on recent discussions by council, input from the committee, budget reductions and lessons learned from last year, several events have been eliminated and some activities have been reduced.
She said the menu for the meal on opening night will be simplified and they will be asking those who attend to make a donation to the St. George and area food bank. Cooking will be done in the kitchen at Magaguadavic Place rather than on barbecues outside, she added.
The Amazing Race will be eliminated from the program, there will be no free food on Saturday, lower cost music for the opening night, no beauty pageant and no paint ball.
Any cost savings will be realized through different suppliers or different equipment for the fireworks, said Avery. These changes, she said, will result in a savings of $8,097 from last year’s budget and will enable the committee to meet this year’s budget.
If any individual or community group has time they can offer as volunteers to assist the committee with running events or venues for the festival, their assistance would be much appreciated, said Avery.
Anyone who can help out is asked to contact her at 321-0453 or the town office at 755-4320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
She said later the committee had to reduce activities this year because the town does not have a lot of money. Water and sewer rates as well as taxes have increased this year, she noted.
“We will still have the meal Friday night but it will be pared right back and we will still have the bouncy castles on Saturday. One of the things I am going to add is some more activities that will appeal to teenagers because most of the things are for the younger crowd.
“We are hoping to have a skateboard competition and a ball hockey tournament – things that people can watch. We have the skateboard park and the ball hockey area right there.
“Volunteers are the big thing and I will have to cut back more activities if I don’t get some more people to help. I don’t want to only do half a job. I want to do a good job but on a smaller scale.”
Rather than offering free food on the Saturday, Avery said she would like to offer an opportunity to local organizations to do something, such as selling food, so they can raise money.
“Friday night will kick off with the meal and there will be a movie inside for the older people. Last year we had one outside for the kids and one inside for the adults.
“There will be activities at Magaguadavic Place Saturday plus the military will be there; then on Sunday there will be antique cars and motor cycles and the parade.
“I have not done a whole lot of changes but I have changed the meal and done away with the free food on Saturday because I cannot make the taxpayers pay for that when water and sewer rates as well as taxes have gone up.”