Silver City Days – Fireworks will fly after funding flip flop

After much deliberation, the City of Trail has agreed to fund the fireworks display at this year's Silvery City Days activities.

A spark of uncertainty over the fate of the Silver City Days fireworks has been extinguished as the city has agreed to put up the money to ensure the event takes place May 12.

On Tuesday night in a special meeting in council chambers, Trail city council agreed to pay up to $10,000 for the fireworks display, keeping the nearly 50-year-old tradition alive in its 49th year.

Less than one week ago news of the fireworks possible demise caused a flicker of concern throughout the city and amongst the Silver City organizers, Trail Festival Society (TFS).

However, with documentation in hand as requested three weeks ago by council on TFS’s usage of funds, it was a quick decision for the elected officials to see the merit in releasing the money for the event, said councilor Sean Mackinlay.

It was necessary for council to see how the money was being spent before it approved this year’s allotment, said Mackinlay on Wednesday.

“We are very accommodating to the amount of money that we give and the in-kind services. All we were asking for was documentation at the end of the day that just shows where that money has gone,” he said.

“We have to be stewards of the public purse and we have to go back to the taxpayers at the end of our three-year tenure and say, ‘This is where we spent the money.’”

Heading in to a meeting last Wednesday the city’s largest annual festival was close to being cancelled, with a lot of the Silver City directors ready to throw in their papers and quit. At the time, Trail city council had slashed TFS’s $35,000 budget by one third to $22,500.

On Tuesday night council nearly restored it completely, coming up $2,500 short of last year’s funding amount. But Mackinlay, city council’s liaison with TFS, had personally stepped up and agreed to provide the money to cover the specific parade costs.

As a business manager in the downtown core, Mackinlay wanted to see the parade continue.

“The parade in my mind is the best thing for the city for showcasing some of the businesses we have downtown,” he said. “It’s a pride point, really gathering everybody in the downtown core and showing what community spirit and a positive attitude that Trail has.”

The festival at the Esplanade on Spokane Street includes live entertainment on the main stage as well as the Gyro Casino spinning the wheel.

There are also food vendors and shopping booths open for business, the AM Ford Bocce Classic, the parade, the bartender contest and the Trail and Warfield citizen of the year ceremony at St. Michael’s School gymnasium.

Family Fun Day at Gyro Park on Sunday will be back, as will the Miss Trail competition, who will be crowned Friday night at the Charles Bailey Theatre.