<b>Massive crowds</b> Art Fleury took these aerial photos of the crowds at the Living Skies Come Alive Fireworks competitions on Saturday (left) and Sunday (right) nights of the August long weekend with his drone. They show the massive crowds at what has become one of the largest events in southeast Saskatchewan, with 12,500 people through the gates this year!

Living Skies Come Alive biggest event in SE Sask

August 21, 2017 8:06 am
Kevin Weedmark

The Living Skies Come Alive International Fireworks Competition has become the largest single event in southeast Saskatchewan.

In 2016, the three-day Estevan Fair and Rodeo had 2,000 more people through the gates than Living Skies Come Alive—more than 9,000 people at Estevan compared to 7,100 at Moosomin Lake. The three-day Estevan Fair and Rodeo was the best attended event in Southeast Saskatchewan that year.

But this year, there were more than 12,500 paid admissions to the Living Skies Come Alive International Fireworks Competition, while the Estevan Fair and Rodeo was between 9,000 and 10,000—making Living Skies Come Alive the best attended event in all of southeast Saskatchewan—east of Regina and south of the Qu’Appelle Valley.

The thousands of extra people meant vendors at Living Skies Come Alive were overwhelmed.

“I ran out of everything. I couldn’t sell a pizza,” says Roman Chernykh. “I had to run and buy flour on Monday morning to make dough so I could re-open. I was out of everything.

“I could have sold more, but I physically couldn’t do any more.”

Stores and restaurants in Moosomin were busy through the weekend.

Moosomin Regional Park manager Wayne Beckett said the park was able to handle the large, unexpected numbers.

“We rely on a lot of volunteers to help out with setup and cleanup which really helps,” he said.

“We try to get everything organized ahead of time so we don’t have issues the day of the fireworks.

“We laid out a grid for overflow camping, providing space for the campers and access in and out for campers and emergency vehicles.

“We also had campers pre-register, which saved a lot of time. When they showed up at the booth they had a package with their name ready for them.

“That helped a lot. On Thursday alone we had 125 campers show. It takes some co-ordination to get them to where they need to be.

“Through the weekend we were fortunate. There were no power issues, no water issues, very little security issues—it really made our job quite easy throughout the weekend.”

Beckett said he was surprised by the number of people who showed up for the fireworks weekend this year.

“We knew there would be more on Sunday, but we didn’t think it would be as many as it was,” he said.

“I would have guessed we would have had 1,000 more people on Sunday, but we had twice as many as last year.”

He said the weekend put the park close to capacity.

“We could handle a few more campers—we might have been able to squeeze in a dozen more campers, but the cars that came in Sunday is pretty close to our limit. I think there were 1,200 cars on Sunday—it’s hard to get that many in.

“When you think of how many people we had, it all went remarkably well.

“At the store, we did all the cooking outside at the burger bar. The store concentrated on groceries and ice cream and drinks. We had to only let so many people in at a time.

“I can’t believe how much ice cream we sold, the girls were scooping ice cream from morning til night.”

The fireworks committee will present their report to the Moosomin Regional Park board in October, after which the board will make a decision on what to do next year.

A barbecue to thank all the volunteers who helped with the weekend is set for Saturday, August 26 at 4 pm.