Trent Ernst, Editor
April 9 came and went with barely a whisper.
Few, if any of the town noticed anything special about the day.
But 35 years earlier, on April 9, 1981, Tumbler Ridge was officially incorporated.
It took just over three years to turn the town from just another patch of bush, nearly indistinguishable from the surrounding area into the town that sits here today.
On June 6, 1984, the town opened with a big celebration, but for many, April 9 is the day that Tumbler Ridge was officially born.
On Thursday, April 28, the town will be celebrating this event with a happy belated birthday with a block party.
According to Chamber Manager Jerrilyn Schembri, the party will take place from 4 pm to 7 pm. It will be held in the area between the Community Centre and Shop Easy. “That way, if the weather is bad we can move it into rooms 4 and 5,” says Schembri.
“We will approach Shop Easy to purchase BBQ items and a cake,” she says. “We will go to Ace Hardware for the pop, and to KC’s Dollar Store for the balloons, plates, and forks.”
She says shopping locally is important, especially these days as for each $100 spent locally, $46 continues to circulate in the community.
Tables will be set up for local artists, crafters, and businesses to display their items or sell their wares, and she’s expecting there will a few antique, or at least unique vehicles there for the public to look at.
“We are looking at having the bouncy castle and mini golf set up as well as face painting and a contest or two for the kids, and the entertainment for the party has been booked. Finally, a happy birthday Tumbler Ridge banner has been ordered and will be here for the party.”
The timing, coming twenty days after the official date of Tumbler’s incorporation is a little suspect, and indeed, the celebrations have been timed to coincide with a visit from the TV show Still Standing.
The CBC show is a hybrid reality/comedy series. In each episode, host Jonny Harris travels to a different small Canadian community, financially struggling but “still standing”. While in town, he spends time getting to know the residents and their lifestyle.
At the end of his visit, he then performs a stand-up comedy show for the town’s residents, into which he integrates some of his newfound insights about life in the community.
The comedy show will be held Friday, April 29 at the Trend Mountain Hotel.
For Schembri, the show’s visit is a change to not only to bring attention to the town and what it’s been going through, but a chance to celebrate the town’s resilient spirit, as well as the community’s natural assets.
“We want to make this a celebration that shows that Tumbler Ridge is not only still standing,” she says, “but is a vibrant and exciting place to live and visit.”