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The second annual Winter in the Woods festival took place, on Jan. 28 to raise funds to resurface the local rink and bring the Bragg Creek community together. 

Resurfacing the facility will allow the rink to stay open through the warm days of winter, explains Sheryl Hayes, vice president of Bragg Creek Community Centre and volunteer coordinator for Winter in the Woods Festival 

“The way our rink is finished right now, the sun just melts, so we have to close it down because of the sun and the warm weather,” said Hayes. 

The Dragonfly Rink is nestled on 23 White Ave. beside the local community centre. The rink acts as a home base for community events year round and home ice for the Bears junior hockey team in the winter. 

During the summer, the rink  has basketball courts, community gardens and hosts summer camps. 

Hayes says the community played a big role in the creation of the event.

“Part of our mandate is to enhance the quality of life out in the Bragg Creek area by giving them a sense of community and a place to come together that is a centre of the community,” said Hayes. 

Last year, the event was on a warmer day, with 1,800 people in attendance. While the turnout was not as big as last year’s, the local community still showed up in support of their rink. 

“We still had almost 500 people, which, for the weather the way it was, was pretty fabulous.”

The River Dragonfly Rink sign at Bragg Creek Community Centre Photo Credit: Alex Janz

Brian Robertson, chairman of the festival, was also happy about the turnout and said, “this is what the festival is all about.” 

“It’s time to get out, go explore places, and see places, and ya know, come out and just have a good time and build some community.”

Both Robertson and Hayes expressed their appreciation for the 75 volunteers that showed up and made the event possible. 

“We are absolutely thrilled that we have such a strong rink volunteer pool,” said Hayes, “they’ve done an amazing job.” 

The festival and community centre had hoped to raise $80,000 for the resurfacing of the rink and although they did not meet the target, the council remains hopeful and grateful.

“Every little bit counts.”

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