Ladysmith’s biggest party of the summer will be moving back to its original time slot on the August long weekend.
After careful consideration and plenty of community feedback, the Ladysmith Celebrations Society has decided to change the date for next year’s function, says chairperson Barry Frech.
“People are asking constantly why not the long weekend — there’s no reason why not to,” he said. “I know it will work better for people.”
Though attendance numbers seemed down this year, there was plenty of fun to be had from Coronation Mall and Transfer Beach to First Avenue and Aggie Field all weekend long during Ladysmith Days.
“Everything went right for Ladysmith Days, including the weather,” said Coun. Steve Arnett.
The Ladysmith Days festivities offered the usual brand of family fun — bouncy castles, pancake breakfast, parade, carnival-style treats and pony rides — as well as a few new additions to the roster.
The Ladysmith Has Talent competition had few entries but enthusiastic participants. Competitors sang and danced their hearts out to an enthusiastic crowd at the Ladysmith library parking lot.
Winning first in the age five to nine category where five-year-old Serenity and Holly Pedersen with their a capella rendition of Ladysmith Primary School’s song, All My Crazy Pets.
In the age 10-12 category, Cecilia Gibson, 12, silenced the crowd with her heartfelt serenade,Stay by Sugarland. Karen Battie and Kennedy Williams, both 14, rocked their version of Wanted by Jessie James and won first place. In the adult category, Riley Van Damme, 19, took first place with his original song, Shadows, which he performed accompanied by guitar.
The Ladysmith Has Royalty competition, a new addition to the celebrations, had four local dads performing all kinds of embarrassing stunts to win the royal treatment for their families. After having to strut the stage to LMFAO, lip-sync to Carly Rae Jepson, shift a cookie from his forehead to his mouth and stack plastic cups, Christos Bourodemos was the lucky winner.
Ladysmith Celebrations Society director Melody Smythies said the event was a complete success, and they will be looking to incorporate it next year as well.
“Once they had their crowns on, the family wore them all weekend,” she said. “They were just right into it.”
The Odds rocked the Ladysmith amphitheatre, along with numerous other talented artists, like Skellig, and Jayden Holman. Emceeing the entertainment was Cathleen McMahon, who did an amazing job of keeping the crowd’s attention between acts.
Arnett said he was most impressed by residents and volunteers who went above and beyond when glitches arose. His example was a last-minute handmade Citizen of the Year sign put together by employees of the Ladysmith and District Credit Union for the lead parade car.
“In the end, it was about people pulling together,” he said. “It is typical of this town, and that’s what Ladysmith Days is all about.”
Smythies added that the Town of Ladysmith did an exceptional job of the major clean up following the event.
Planning for next year is already in the works, kicking off with a meeting next Tues., Aug. 21.
To get involved with Ladysmith Days, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Though there were two new floats this year, numbers have been steadily declining for the Ladysmith Days Kinsmen parade. This year’s parade ran a little behind schedule but was attended by hundreds of enthusiastic residents.
“I don’t know what we can do to pick that up,” Frech said. “Hopefully, people will start to get interested in it again.”
Frech said the committee will be working “awful hard” to get the logger sports back for 2013. Due to a scheduling conflict, the show was not available this year. Instead, the entertainment trailer was moved from its previous location at the Kinsmen Hut to the amphitheatre.
“People are saying that’s the only place to hold the music; it’s such a beautiful setting,” Frech said.
Frech said he would like to get something started at the old train station down near the Waterfront Art Gallery.
“Thank you to everyone that showed up to take in Ladysmith Days; it was good to see so many people down there,” he added