Festival numbers higher than anticipated

Next year's St. Jean Baptiste Festival could see the addition of a musical score to the fireworks.

By MorinvilleNews.com Staff

Morinville – The figures are in from this year’s St. Jean Baptiste Festival and festival chair Joel Chevalier couldn’t be happier with the results.

“Our goal was about 2,000 and we have estimates anywhere between 2,500 and 3,000-something went through,” Chevalier said of this year’s festival goers, adding that reports indicate there were times when the popular children’s game and craft tent had approximately 200 children under the awning. “You couldn’t move.”

Chevalier said in communications with the Town, indication was that Morinville residents were looking for a number of community events in town: a parade, fireworks, children’s entertainment and family activities.

“We pretty well hit everything the town people were looking for in one event,” Chevalier said.

But while the festival chair believes everyone who attended this year’s St. Jean Baptiste Festival was a winner, a couple of individuals walked away with something a little extra. Chevalier said the winner of the 50-50 draw won $1,100 and that the festival donated $300 to minor baseball and $600 to Muscular Dystrophy through Sonny Davis’ Marathon of Freedom from their half of ticket proceeds. Additionally, Kim Edworthy won an iPod Touch by filling out a ballot at the festival.

In all, 475 ballots were collected, each giving the festival committee an indication of how people heard about this year’s St. Jean Baptiste Festival. Newspaper advertising and a direct mailer in the Town’s utility bills were the most effective way of getting the word out.

Chevalier has now stepped down as festival chair but said there are already a couple people interested in assuming the position and that plans are already underway for the 2011 St. Jean Baptiste Festival, which will coincide with Morinville’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

One of the ideas already being tossed around for next year is choreographing the fireworks.

“I think we’re going to see if we can get an FM channel and then have it all timed to music,” Chevalier said. “So if you are watching in your car, you can just tune into whatever the channel is and listen to the music. The music will fire the same as the fireworks.”

St. Jean Baptiste Festival Chair Joel Chevalier (left) presents an iPod Touch to draw winner Kim Edworthy.
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