By Sue Tiffin
Published Jan. 30 2018
DURING ANY type of event something can and likely will go wrong – ask any newly married couple what went wrong at their wedding and there will have been something that sticks in the minds of those who spent the time planning for it to be just so. But it’s how you handle the unexpected that matters.
Last weekend mild weather almost put a damper on two major events that went on despite the lack of much white stuff.
Organizers of the Hardwater Festival were watching the sky for rain but enthusiastic vendors all came out and set up despite less than ideal weather conditions for an event celebrating what some might call less than ideal weather conditions. Bonus – the ice on Pine Lake was safe enough – organizers checked thoroughly – to kicksled and learn about ice fishing without worrying about frostbite.
When John Teljeur organizer of the Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships that turns the pond at the Pinestone into a picturesque symbol of hockey pride had to break it to team captains that after much deliberation and attempts to save it the second day of the two-day event had to be cut short because of mild weather wreaking havoc on weeks of work on the pond’s rinks he gathered them together.
The crowd took the news well. Most had played three of their four games and many hadn’t been doing well enough to be play-off contenders anyway – but all accepted the news that they wouldn’t get as much playing time and would have to wake up earlier and stay later than they had planned the next day with grace. In part it might have been because they could look around the room and see the volunteers who were putting great effort into rearranging schedules and because the Pinestone staff quickly offered late check-out.
Planning an event means taking all kinds of risks that can lead to sleepless nights – putting yourself and your ideas out there depending on others within your team and also to show up as participants diligently anticipating potential hazards – even more so when one has a financial investment in a positive outcome.
Planning an event that depends on the weather during a season and in a time when we simply cannot depend on the weather is significantly more perilous and not for the weak of heart. But without those people organizations and groups and the support of municipalities who are willing to bell the cat our county would miss out on having the opportunity to get out of the house and be together in some of the darkest days when hibernation can lead to isolation and depression and also to showcase how beautiful and fun and uplifting this season can be.
Kudos to those who plan with passion pausing only to check weather forecasts dozens of times a day to help residents and guests embrace winter here in our Highlands.
A special shout out as well to the organizers of the Robbie Burns night celebration held at the Legion. The variety in the program came second only to the enthusiasm of the crowd that calmed the nervous energy of the tiny dancers during their delightful Highland Fling. It’s an exceptionally fun night and worth taking in even if you don’t particularly enjoy haggis.