Festival angst 0
Unlike that other weekend festival that recently took place in Crowsnest Pass, the 7th Annual Doors Open and Heritage Festival was a success story from every perspective.
And it didn't even need a parade to do it!
One of the major elements that make it a success is that it has a cohesive overriding theme. Doors Open is a clear celebration of the area's heritage and cultural history.
It doesn't try to be all things to all people. There are numerous events and activities to spark people's interest but it doesn't pretend to cater to every demographic or limit itself to "family-oriented".
There are enough events that residents of the Pass may want to attend but so many more that tourists eagerly jump on board to go to.
In addition, Doors Open and Heritage Festival is inclusive - it takes place from one end of the Pass to the other and the entire municipality's heritage is celebrated.
Preceding Doors Open are three local festivals: Bellecrest Days in June, Canada Day in Coleman, and Rum Runner Days in Blairmore.
Rum Runner Days has now become the lost child of the festival season. It has lost its way and has no cohesive theme anymore. Without its central event - fireworks - it's now nothing more than another local festival. Its activities are stand-alone events that could take place any time of the year or in any location.
At the risk of being burned at the stake, I suggest that serious soul-searching take place over the next year to let the community decide what it wants in the way of mid-summer festivals and how much it's willing to pay for them.