If home is where the heart is, it looks as though the Summer Stomp has found its place in Sicamous.
Preliminary reports from organizers behind the community’s inaugural Summer Stomp and Burnout Charity Party indicate the event was a success for all involved.
The Summer Stomp Committee’s Steve Hammer says the event, which has relocated from Silver Creek to Sicamous, exceeded expectations, and he credited the District of Sicamous, the Sicamous chamber, local businesses and all the volunteers for helping to make this happen.
“The energy level was just so over the top positive,” said Hammer. “It was really just a heartwarming feeling everywhere you went.”
Hammer estimated there were around 2,200 people who attended the Stomp grounds. But he says there may have been another 1,500 to 2,000 who just attended the burnout events on Main Street.
Mayor Darrell Trouton says he was very impressed with the fourday event and the feedback he received.
“I met with a lot of the business owners up and down Main Street,” said Trouton. “Everybody said it was busier than heck, they really appreciated it, and that’s what we need for our town.”
Sicamous and District Chamber of Commerce executive director Michelle Wolff says that by and large she’s only heard good things about the event, and that it was a boon for some businesses.
“It’s obviously helped a few businesses,” said Wolff. “And that’s my thought – it’s not going to help everybody, but we try to look at the businesses that don’t necessarily prosper from this and is there a different type of event that we can bring in for them in the future to help spread the wealth? This being said, at least a few more people can keep jobs for a little longer.”
Wolff credited all the volunteers, about 150 of them, who played a crucial role in pulling off the event.
From a policing perspective, Sgt. Dave Dubnyk said he and the RCMP maintained a positive working relationship with the event organizers and, from his perspective, all worked out well.
“I made it fairly clear to the organizers right at the outset, that if everybody is behaving themselves, it’s going to be a great weekend for all, and if they’re not, all bets are off,” said Dubnyk. “And we had enough members here to push back if we had to. But it just didn’t come to that.”
To help with the weekend, the Sicamous RCMP brought in other policing resources including the gang task force, traffic services, police dog services, a marine enforcement unit and the Canadian Pacific Railway police. This, combined with an increase in visitors to the community – not specifically related to the Stomp – resulted in numerous tickets and arrests for traffic infractions, including five drug seizures from vehicles, as well as the recovery of a stolen vehicle.
Hammer says the large police presence was expected, and that the local detachment was great to work with. As for the future, Hammer is hopeful the event will continue to call Sicamous home.
“This is the new home of the Summer Stomp and Burnout for as long as it continues to be successful and we can have it in Sicamous,” he said.