Warfield Community Day returns

After taking a year off and weathering a few name changes, Warfield's Community Day is back this Saturday.

After taking a year off and weathering a few name changes, Warfield’s Community Day is back this Saturday.

Diane Langman, Warfield councillor and member of the recreation committee, says the day has deep roots in the village no matter what it has been called in the past, and after no events last year for what would have been the 75th anniversary, it is time to bring the tradition back to life.

“It has gone through changes over the years from Community Days to Sports Day to Family Day and even while the name changes, it is the one day our community all comes together together to celebrate our spirit,” she said, adding that a call from village residents was the push the village council needed to make it happen.

“This an event that people remember participating in during their youth through the years and we feel it is incredibly important to continue this tradition.”

Dating back to the event’s early form as Warfield Dominion Day, or Warfield Sports Day, kids in the village have been decorating their bikes for a parade and a moment in the spotlight.

Langman says the parade, a crowd favourite, will continue and give some of the older residents a chance to see what kids can do to their bikes in the 21st Century.

“We have pictures dating back to 1943 of Warfield and the bike parades,” she said. “This year, it’s coming back. We are doing a smaller All Wheel Parade that will run up Forrest Drive and end at the community hall where all the events are happening. We encourage all kids to decorate their bikes, scooters, strollers, etc and come out. Of course, helmets are a must.”

The reincarnation of Warfield Community Day will also give the youth in the village the chance to continue on and experience the legacy.

“Our whole community feels very strongly about having Warfield Days and letting the kids in the village experience the community spirit that has gone on through the years,” said Langman. “We want to make sure our kids have what we had as kids.”

On the village’s website is an account from longtime resident and Chair of the original Sports Day committee, Art Bickerton, detailing the origins of the community event in 1939. It cost $37.50 to put together, and passing the celebration on to younger generations was important to him, especially with the bike parade.

“As chairman of that committee it was my duty to contact every household and to ask for 25 cents from each to defray expenses and for prize money for decorated buggies, tricycles, wagons and bicycles,” he relayed. “Five years after starting my term as chairman of the annual Sports Day, our daughter was born. I remained chairman of Sports Day long enough to very proudly give her 15 cents for best decorated buggy when she was five years old. I was not the judge although I did believe that the judges did a fine job.”

It isn’t 1939 anymore, and it definitely costs more than $37.50 to put on a community event, but that hasn’t stopped Warfield Recreation from aiming high.

The day starts off with a pancake breakfast at the community hall, grilled up by the staff from the Kootenay Savings Credit Union, bright and early at 8 a.m. and goes until 11 a.m.

The Forrest Drive bike parade is up next, led by the RCMP and running from Beaver Bend Park back to the community hall, where, after breakfast is cleaned up, the majority of the activities begin.

The Village Square at the hall will play host to carnival games, live entertainment, bouncing castle, bocci and more until 3 p.m.

For those that are looking to break a sweat and see some ideal mountain views with family, there is a hike up to Table Top at 2 p.m. with a sign-up sheet circulated at breakfast.

There is also a four-on-four hockey tournament which requires pre-registration and to close out the jam-packed day, villagers and visitors are invited to chow down at the barbecue steak and hamburger dinner that includes jo-jos, salad and a dessert.

Langman says none of these events would be possible without the help of the volunteers who dedicate their time and resources.

“Volunteers are the backbone of this event,” she said. “(The Warfield Recreation Commission) put in a tireless amount of hours to ensure that things run smoothly. They start up at 6:30 a.m. getting sausages and pancakes ready and they don’t finish until well after 8 p.m. that night, stacking the last tables and chairs. They deserve a huge thank you.”