Fireworks over Moosomin Lake at the 2015 Living Skies Come Alive fireworks competition. Kim Poole photo

Fireworks competition coming up this weekend

July 25, 2016 8:12 am
Kevin Weedmark

Moosomin Regional Park will host the seventh annual Living Skies Come Alive fireworks competition at Moosomin Lake July 30 and 31.

The weekend is built around two nights of fireworks, one by Canadian Pyro from Winnipeg and one by Paradise Fireworks of Regina.

The fireworks are set off across the lake from the main beach at Moosomin Regional Park, so the beach is the best place to watch them from, as the fireworks are reflected in the water.

Prior to the fireworks, there will be entertainment both nights, with Amy Nelson performing at 7:30 pm Friday and Eli Barsi performing at 7:30 pm Sunday.

There will also be beer gardens, meals both nights, pontoon boat rides on the lake, a sandcastle building contest, kids entertainment Saturday and Sunday afternoons and a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning.

Advance tickets for the event are $8 per person per day, and admission at the gate is $10 per person per day.

Organizer Michele Shaw says a lot of work goes into the annual event, but she says the work is definitely worth it.

“There are always times you are stressed when things aren’t working out as they’re supposed to, but it’s definitely worthwhile.

“For some of us on the board, the park has a lot of meaning to us. My dad was on the park board for 32 years. My brother and I spent our summers there growing up, and so did my kids. There are some people who have come to the fireworks who didn’t even realize it was there. To hear them talk about what a beautiful place the park is, when they haven’t seen it before, makes it all worthwhile.”

The Living Skies Come Alive fireworks competition usually brings 5,000 to 7,000 people through the gates each day in addition to cabin owners and campers, and nets up to $30,000 for the regional park board. “The park board faces some big costs—we’re looking at $200,000 to replace our treatment water plant, so this helps a lot,” Shaw said.

She said putting the event together has become easier with experience over the years, but rounding up enough volunteers to pull it off has become tougher.

“Finding enough volunteers is always a challenge,” she said. “Layne McFarlane needs 15 more volunteers for the parking. I need four more volunteers for the gate. If the fireworks ever stop happening at the lake, that will be why—because it’s so hard to find enough people to do all the work.”

Anyone who is willing to volunteer to help make the event a success can call the park at 306-435-3531.

Shaw said the fireworks companies enjoy taking part in the competition each year.

“The fireworks guys love the location at the lake,” she said. “It’s perfect for them to display what they can do, and they love the hospitality at the lake.”

Shaw said some things have improved over the years, such as the efficiency of the parking.

“Most people, if they’re not handicapped or at a cabin, they park in the hayfield. They can walk down a little hill to the beach area, or can take the handivan down. That has become more efficient and it’s very well organized.

“It also helps that people are coming out for more of the day.

“The first couple of years there were lineups down the road to get in right before the fireworks.

“Now a lot more people are coming for the day, having supper at the lake, and watching the entertainment before the fireworks. Kim Hilts is putting on suppers both nights, and a pancake breakfast on Sunday morning.” The park store staff will be serving up pulled pork for supper on Saturday, and a steak supper on Sunday.

“This year we’ve got some really good entertainment going from 7:30 to about 9 and then the fireworks shortly after, so I hope people come out and take in the entertainment.”

There will be a lot going on during the day Saturday and Sunday as well.

Gerald Allan is organizing kids games from noon to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, and a sand castle building contest starting at 11:15 a.m. Saturday.

The kids games include ball throw, three-legged race, a wheelbarrow race, a ring toss, a limbo contest, an egg toss, a water balloon toss, a treasure hunt, a bubble gum bubble blowing contest, games, and lots more.

For people who want to be out on the lake, Shaw points out the lake now rents kayaks and canoes, and will be offering pontoon boat rides at 1, 2, and 3 pm Saturday and Sunday. “We take them down to the bridge, show them where the fireworks are shot off from, and take them all the way down to the PFRA dam.

“We get a lot of families coming out for that—there are a lot of people from Moosomin who have never been on the lake. It gives a different perspective of the lake.”

Shaw is hoping for good weather, and points out “we’ve been really lucky with the weather. We have never had bad weather for the fireworks weekend.”

Shaw says the fireworks weekend takes a lot of work, but it’s all worth it.

“It’s a lot of work, and every year we sit down, and say it’s so much work, there are so few of us, but then we look at what it does for the park. Every year we get some new people out. When you volunteer, it’s really cool to see some of the people who come who have never been to the park before. We have people who just see it advertised and they come, and we have people who are just passing through who come to see it. We had lots of Albertans last year, people from the Maritimes, from Quebec, from all over Saskatchewan and Manitoba. We have people who come from Saskatoon every year.”

Shaw says she believes the event is good for the whole community. “Some people stay at the park, some stay at the other campground, some stay at the hotels—the weekend benefits the entire community, not just the park.”