25th Anniversary? Fest 2006″

Tumbler Ridge?s 25th Anniversary celebration took centre stage on Griz Fest 2006 weekend.

Following Battle of the Bands on Friday night, festivities creaked and groaned to life in the sleepy town of Tumbler Ridge beginning at 7am with a friendly and filling pancake breakfast put on by the local Lions Cub. Four dollars bought each in a crowd of Tumblerites and out-of-towners two expertly grilled pancakes, three sausages, coffee and juice. The walkway adjacent to the Tumbler Ridge Library was abuzz with a steadily growing crowd of GrizFest hopefuls and cheerful local residents. The crowd reached its greatest numbers during the hour leading up to the parade, which arrived at the south end of Front St. just after 11am.

Eager children anticipating a storm of candy from the passing floats swarmed the nearby Shop Easy Foods to secure plastic bags used to stash this year?s loot. Children were not disappointed as parade participants flowered the streets with candy. One parent in particular was pleased to see that a helping of brain-candy (children?s books) were among the goodies being distributed.

Floats in the parade included the Tumbler Ridge Fire Dept., BC Ambulance and a Tumbler Ridge 25th Anniversary float adorned with a large, incredibly detailed guitar. The parade consisted originally of 14 registered floats.

As light rain and ominous clouds threatened to drown the parade minutes before the floats? arrival on Front Street, the Grand Opening of the skateboard park nearly met its fate a second time around: the competition slated to kick-off the opening of the park was skidded due to last week?s Biblical showers to coincide with GrizFest 2006 on Saturday.

One proud skater in particular showed up early despite the clouds to get the edge on his competitors. Cody Duperreault, born in Vancouver and later a resident of Ft. St. John and New York City, made a return of sorts to visit his grandparents of Tumbler Ridge and to compete in the Intermediate category in Tumbler Ridge?s first skate competition. ?This is a really good park for a town like this,? says Duperreault but adds with a grin, ?I?d prefer if there were some ?vert? ramps?like six, seven feet.? The general attitude toward the Park is one of praise.

?We started it,? said 15 year old local skater Chris Fowlow. ?In front of the town hall we said ?we should get a skate park?.? According to council member Larry White, who oversaw the construction of the Park, the idea was brought to Council just shy of four years ago. Four years of planning and ?$287,000 from start to finish? met fruition before a diverse cross-section of local and neighboring communities Saturday afternoon.

The competition, in celebration of the Park?s opening, began at 1:30 (-ish) and boasted sponsored riders from Shoved Skateboards, owned and operated out of Dawson Creek by Jarrod Dokken. Tyrel Supernault of Shoved won Best Trick with a well-executed ?50/50?. In the Beginner category Jordan Poulliot took first place in the overall competition, followed by Ethan Giesbrecht and Rory Hurd for Intermediate and Advanced, repectively.