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ROUNDUP: 2023 Terrace Riverboat Days celebrates another successful year

The organizing committee is warning of scaled down future festivals without more volunteers

Terrace’s 2023 Riverboat Days festival wrapped up Aug. 13 with a larger number of events compared to prior years, amazing turnouts and rave reviews from the community, according to Terrace Riverboat Society Board President Kam Siemens.

The annual festival boasted an array of new and re-launched prior events, such as the Blueberry Festival and Intro to Cricket, alongside classic favourites.

“I think everything went well,” Siemens said. “Based on the event count, there were so many more events since the last Riverboat Days.”

The festival’s success was also highlighted with performances at the opening ceremonies, at Concerts in the Park and positive energy all around.

Behind the success of the festival lies the challenge of organizing such an expansive event with limited resources. The Riverboat Days Committee, comprising only four members this year, as opposed to the usual 12 to 15, faced difficulties in coordinating all the activities.

“We need more bodies to help,” Siemens emphasized. “It’s very hard because there’s a lot of logistics behind everything, and with everything that needs to be done, if we had more hands helping, it would make life so much easier.”

READ MORE: Gardens bloom at 2023 Terrace Riverboat Days: Self-guided garden tour returns to enthusiastic reception

Siemens highlighted the importance of volunteers, noting that even five additional volunteers on the committee would make a significant difference. The challenge extends to the next year as the committee faces the potential need to scale down the festival if volunteer numbers do not increase.

“We need the volunteers. It’s really hard to coordinate Riverboat Days with very few people on the organizing committee, and it’s something that we do basically year in, year out,” Siemens said.

“It created unity within the community. And I don’t want to see this not happen, but at the same token, we do need to realize that, if there are no extra bodies, it will definitely have to be a scaled-down event,” Siemens added.

In a year that saw COVID-19 pandemic restrictions lifted, the committee took full advantage of the opportunity to make this festival the best so far, showcasing local talent such as King Crow and the Ladies from Hell at Concerts in the Park and celebrating events like Mr. Mikes Beach Blast Volleyball “21” for Jumpstart Terrace.

Despite the success, Siemens’s optimism for the future is tempered with realism.

“I have faith that Terrace will come out and help,” Siemens expressed. “I’m optimistic that people will come out and join us because people clearly want Riverboat Days to continue.”

Those interested in volunteering or learning more about the festival, meetings are held monthly, accessible in-person or via Zoom.

Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.

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