Can Sicamous bring back Moose Mouse Days?
While the Moose Mouse itself has made a number of guest appearances at Sicamous events in recent years, Moose Mouse Days haven’t been celebrated in the community for well over a decade. But Jake Dewitt and the Sicamous and District Chamber of Commerce want to see if there’s interest in the community in working together to revive Moose Mouse Days. They’re hosting a meeting to discuss just that at 7 p.m. at the visitor centre in the district hall on Thursday, Nov. 3.
Dewitt explained he’s organizing a couple of big softball tournaments for the last weekend in July 2023, which could serve as an anchor for the return of Moose Mouse Days.
“I enjoyed those events so much when I was younger; I wanted to see if the community wanted to jump onboard and tie other events into it,” said Dewitt. “So far, we have some interest in a big, two-day road hockey tournament. It was suggested that perhaps, if there’s ice in the arena, they may have a rec-hockey tournament. The reason we’re having the meeting is to get all these ideas, flush out what people are thinking and which groups would be interested in participating.”
According to an excerpt from Eagle Valley Views: The One Hundred Year Pictorial History of Sicamous, the chamber started Moose Mouse days on the May long weekend in 1970. The event was taken over by the Recreation Centre Society and moved to the August long weekend.
Dewitt said the event was used as a fundraiser to build the arena.
“That was its original concept, they did that to raise money – to get the seed money to build the Sicamous arena,” said Dewitt. “So it started with men’s fastball, and of course a beer garden, and they had a big dance…”
After the arena was built, Dewitt said the event grew to include mud bogging, hang gliders, arm-wrestling competitions and more.
“They had a big parade, they had a lot of different things.”
According to Dewitt, Moose Mouse Days came to an end due to a lack of volunteers and an alcohol-related injury that led to legal action involving the municipality.
“If this thing doesn’t happen, it will probably be because of the liability issues,” said Dewitt, stressing parts of Moose Mouse Days will remain in the past.
“What I envision, if we proceed with this thing, is that it will create opportunities for local groups to do some fundraising for themselves rather than going with their hand out all the time,” said Dewitt. “So I’m running a ball tournament but I am not having a beer garden. But I’m encouraging someone to have one, a group who has volunteers and is willing to do it…
“That’s’s the whole idea of tying in more that just one event. We need to have a base where the events are taking place and also attract people to those things And the new focus is on some family events, not just a bunch of drinking and ball playing.”
A partnership with the district is also needed if Moose Mouse Days is to make a comeback.
“I would absolutely love for them (the district) to have a parade,” said Dewitt. “My number one hope is that the District of Sicamous becomes a partner in this event, and does not just slap the organizers, the people who are trying to put it together, with a bunch of requirements.
“If the district becomes part of the group that is putting this on, it will take a big chunk of the insurance and liability issues away… If the District of Sicamous isn’t onboard with it, I don’t see how it can proceed.”
Dewitt said district councillors have been invited to attend the Nov. 3 meeting.
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