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Final set up is underway at Hawerlak Park for this weekend's Servus Heritage Festival and organizers hope an attendance record could fall.
"We have counters at each end. We count and that's what we base the attendance on," said Executive Director Jack Little. He anticipates 340,000 will make it.
Three hundred and eighty thousand came in both 2008 and 2006, which is what they're shooting for.
"We know exactly that 100,000 come in by park'n'ride" said Little. "We're blessed we have a park that's as gorgeous as this one within walking distance of downtown. "
"I do it every year. I go out to the sidewalk and look towards downtown, and you can't see the sidewalk for people walking in."
As is always the case, some pavilions drop out and others move in.
"Egypt is brand new, and the rookie of the year is back, Cuba. They did such a fantastic job last year."
"I'm really excited with the Canadian Aboriginals. They put up five teepees. Those aren't little things you put in your back yard. Those are buildings and it was a spectacular display."
Little reports that food ticket sales were up more than 2% last year. The big winner out of that is the food bank because unused food tickets are collected. Last year, it translated into a donation of nearly $49,000.
"The monetary donations are also very important to our work because not only do we have operating costs (but) we do purchase food," said Executive Director Marjorie Benz. "For example each month we purchase $6,000 worth of eggs alone."
Mayor Stephen Mandel always looks forward to the event "because it represents the wonders of our city, the wonders of our country and it shows how people can come together in a nation in peace and in harmony and work together to build a future." (sj/ks)
Photo by 630 CHED's Scott Johnson