Locals know quite well why their town fills with tourists in winter. Of course, the powder snow which is unsurpassed anywhere, is the drawing card. It is also the drawing card for the thousands of residents who set down their roots in Fernie for the same reason: to take advantage of the many opportunities to immerse themselves in the snowy mountains whenever possible and as often as possible. Fernie goes out of its way to draw in their visitors and, in the spirit of adventure and togetherness, celebrate the season in as many unique ways as they can find.
They’re good at it, too. The secret was to plan an event which would attract not only locals, but also those visitors unlucky enough to live outside Fernie. Visitors would be able to mix their long-sought-after ski vacations with après ski activities, and friendship in dance halls, hot tubs, as well as the town’s offerings of museums and galleries.
Some time ago the idea of hosting absurd events took hold. Visitors would come, contribute to our economy, and we would return the favour by showing them a good time in the snow. We would then do the unexpected. We would offer them wacky memories not found elsewhere. We would entice them to party alongside their skiing and boarding adventures. We would set up a snow party with a difference.
Fernie knows that snow lovers find it easy to go berserk. Have you heard of the hilarious event which takes place somewhere with a SnowBombing week? What about those zany New Zealanders who begin a Dog Derby in which owners linked to their four footed creatures race from the top of a mountain with faithful hounds in tow, and later participate in a dog barking contest if their pooch won’t bark? Other countries have sponsored polo tournaments on frozen lakes, and ice cricket. Have we tweaked your interest in what Fernie might have to offer?
Events for all ages are easy to find in Fernie. The newest one, coming at the beginning of March, focuses on children. Activities which stress teamwork and fun are being sponsored by Fernie Nordic Society and Cross Country Canada. Sign up your youngster for Racing Rocks. Find out what is involved and more details from our friendly tourist bureau in Fernie or from the Nordic Society.
A hilarious activity that is fun to watch and participate in for all ages is the Raging Elk Cardboard Derby. It occurs at the nearby Fernie Alpine Resort, and is set to go on March 30, 2013. That leaves the more serious party goers plenty of time to briefly set aside their skis and boards and create their own ridiculous vehicles for sliding down the mountain. Past events have seen group and themed entries involving pirate ships, motorcycles and Flintstone cars. This year, don’t be surprised to see the return of a Viking ship, a space ship or even a jiffy john flying by towards their targets.
Creations must be made out cardboard. A neat thing about cardboard is that you build with recyclable materials! While glue and tape are also permitted, for safety reasons, wood, fibreglass and anything else that’s dangerous is a no-no. Construction need not be built to last too long, since they’re bound to crash on the way down. Don’t worry about fantastic inner mechanisms since drivers are probably stashed inside, and can’t see or can’t steer anyways. Fortunately, prizes, trophies and other glory items don’t rely on speed alone: creativity is a major factor. For spectators, think photographs and think safety--you never know when a competitor is about to bite the dust, er, snow.
Remember to dress outrageously for this event: we dare you to retain your costume when you return to Fernie’s Stanford Resort to relax after this outstanding event, and continue your snow party with a difference in our lodge with a difference.