Autumn weather funneling the community together
Seasons change, as do our weekly routines. As I'm writing this it's snowing... In September.
by Jensen Shields
What does the cold and less-than-fair conditions bring to the the Creston Valley one may ask? Do we shut ourselves in and wait several months for the warmth to return? Quite the opposite really. The community goes to one central location to meet, play, work out and sometime feast. Most call it the rec centre, but its real name gives a more accurate description. The Creston and District Community Complex.
This beast of a facility has absolutely no business being in a town of this size. It's a jewel that exists only after a pair of referendums and the support of the Regional District of Central Kootenay. It's safe to say that everybody visits the CDCC at least once a month, most visit weekly and many come every other day.
Here's a few things that really kick off the fall and get people into the CDCC.
The Creston Valley Fall Fair
Budget: Entry is $10 (Fall Fair Feast $35 and sells out fast)
Ages: All ages
When: First week of September
There's a tradition that takes place in the Creston Valley and it's been going on for over 100 years. No, I'm not talking about building a giant wicker man. There isn't some mass sacrifice of livestock and tourists.
It's a good ol' fashioned rootin-tootin fail fair!
There's no better place to run into agricultural producers, bakers, firefighters, goats, hogs, quilt makers and everything in between. The best of the best is on display while judges rate the best pies, carrots, lego palaces and flowers. It's a great opportunity to see what the Creston ValIey produces and how meticulous or locals are when it comes to bringing the highest quality literally to the table.
I went last year and I decided to go again this year with an added bonus. The Fall Feast. All locally sourced food and lots of it. I was in heaven.
The whole 2 day event makes use of the hockey rink, curling rink, main foyer, multiple rooms and the parking lot. Don't worry, still plenty of space to work out and swim.
Creston Valley Thunder Cats
Budget: $10 Adult entry (Family pass $30 - 2 adults, 2 youth)
Ages: All ages
When: Early September - Late February
The Johnny Bucyk arena is packed for every home game. Last season the Thunder Cats struggled, but it didn't stop Creston from showing their support. Win our lose, this is action-packed Junior B hockey team that is an absolute treat to watch.
How are they doing this season? Vast improvement. The team is dangerous, having outscored their opponents 8-22 in their first 4 games. The crowd cheers and whether they be local billet families or simply fans supporting their Thunder Cats.
During intermission mini games are played to win pizza or the famous "puck toss" for a cash prize. There's 50/50 too... keep in mind the whole organization is run by volunteers who care deeply for the team. How would I know? I volunteer myself by doing colour commentary. So if you can't make the game, you can watch it online at playfullscreen.com.
While at the arena, which is attached / inside the CDCC, don't forget to grab snack at the Wee Grill. Poutine, burgers, hot chocolate... all made with love. Oh and did I mention there's beer available and proudly brewed at the Columbia Brewery right here in town?
Out of the river and into the pool
Budget: $6.47 Adult, $4.91 Student / Senior, $3.33 Child ($15.40 Family pack)
Ages: All ages for the pool, never heard of a gym baby
When: The full fall schedule is in this link.
I'm not much of a swimmer. I'm more of a hot tub, steam room dude. Maybe I'll botch the occasional swan dive every once and a while.
There's an Adult Swim on Tuesdays and Thorsdays from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm if you enjoy the company of those who choose not to yell for no reason. Lessons take place between 4:00 pm and 5:30 pm, so things get a little cramped then as well. Earlier or later the better if you enjoy more space.
I'm a big fan of working out first. Gotta earn that hot tub! The gym overlooks the pool so you can make see if / when the crowd dies down a little bit. With that, there's always room in the hot tub post-workout.
Built in 2011, the facility feels new. Most importantly, it feels clean.
Want to feel like a fish IN the water? They have classes to get your Bronze Medallion and Standard First Aid Re-certification.
Feel like your body is broken? They have physio too! The list of recreation activities is too big frankly, so I'll just send you to another link right here.
My advice is to pay a visit and speak face to face with any of the super helpful staff who are more than willing to point you in the right direction.
What is a Bonspeil?
... it's curling.
Budget: Free to watch ($240 per team entry)
Ages: More of a grown-up thing.
When: October 31 - November 3, 2019
A Bonspeil usually takes place over a few days with many teams competing in a slightly confusing round robin system where every win brings teams one stone closer to eternal glory... until the next Bonspeil.
Overlooking the ice is a lounge with a key ingredient to lubricate the tournament. Teams fraternize while gifted with an eagle eye view of the action. The key is pacing yourself, these tournaments used to last more than 24 hours at a time. That's determination.
So what's going in October? Well Creston is raising money for the Nelson Curling Centre. They need a new Ice Plant and they are our neighbour so why not help out? That's Kootenay hospitality in a nutshell. After all, they're only a stone's throw away!
This we are celebrating the 75th annual Men's Butterfly Bonspeil in early March. The ladies (who commit to dressing up in full costume depending on the theme) have the Valentine Bonspeil in early February. Those are also the dates for two of Creston's biggest parties... imagine that.
Can't curl? Too bad! I mean.. You can learn for free on October 14th. Equipment is supplied but bring your clean indoor shoes and wear comfy pants with a warm but not too bulky jacket. During this afternoon you will have the opportunity to try curling with our qualified instructors and learn the basics of curling. Contact: email@example.com OR go to the Curling Club’s Registration System, https://creston.curling.io/leagues and under ‘Products’ enter your name and contact information.
A place to congregate
Just recently the Columbia Basin Trust, a Crown corporation that invests millions of dollars back into the East and West Kootenays, hosted a free BBQ using only locally sourced ingredients. Over 600 locals attended, with 320 in the first 20 minutes. One quick gaze over the crowd and I was able to recognize town Councilors, city staff, local hockey players, friends, acquaintances and some of my Trivia regulars.
The feeling I got when I saw them all in this room was that they are more than that.
They are family.