Cochrane SummerFest was 'magic,' organizer
Cochrane SummerFest was a big success, according to Cochrane and Area Events Society (CAES) Events Director Brooks Tower.
The event, held July 28 at the Cochrane Lions Rodeo Grounds, featured wagon rides, a giant hay maze, a paintball shooting range, face painting, miniature bull riding and was capped off by the Professional Bull Riding Cochrane Classic and evening dance.
“It was successful in terms of the excitement created in the community and the connections made in the community,” said Tower. “It was a terrific success.”
Tower said his favourite memory from this year’s edition of SummerFest was overlooking the band and dance around 11 p.m. on a nearby hill, and seeing the venue jam packed with people.
“I was completely exhausted. I looked down from a little rise to the west, the lights were on and the band was playing. It was full,” said Tower. “It was a warm summer night, it was everything you hope for. It was a little bit of magic.”
Towers said about 1,900 people attended the event and roughly 45 per cent of visitors were from Cochrane.
Fifteen per cent of people he spoke to during the day said they travelled for more than an hour to attend the event.
“What a nice little boom for the local economy,” said Tower. “We have the most terrific volunteers at the gate. We made a point to find enough volunteers so someone can ask those (survey) questions.”
Volunteers asked visitors where they heard about the event and where they were coming from at the gates. The CAES has been polling visitors to its events since its inception(in 2010) to help improve the product they are delivering.
“The first few events, when we were small, it was cute to see us (polling),” said Tower.
Around 50 volunteers were required to put on SummerFest this year.
Now that SummerFest has wrapped up, the CAES has begun work on planning the Labour Day Parade, which drew more then 100 entries last year.
“We are ahead of schedule as far as entries go, we have 65 so far,” said Tower. “We don’t want to focus just on the numbers. You can have 85 gold medal entries or you can have 225 mid-level entries and still have a great parade.”
For more information about upcoming events with the CAES, visit www.cochraneevents.ca