An old favourite is back at the Vernon Winter Carnival
The 59th annual Vernon Winter Carnival has 99 events this year, including a renewed people’s choice activity that’s back on the schedule.
After a five-year hiatus, the always-competitive broomball tournament has moved from downtown Vernon to Village Green Hotel to the delight of many competitors.
“It’s great to see broomball back because it hasn’t been around since 2013,” said the carnival’s chair, Deb White. “We’ve gotten many requests saying ‘bring broomball back.’”
Peter Kaz, who is the promotions, sales and marketing manager at Village Green Hotel, says it just made sense to have the event in the parking lot of the hotel to avoid past issues with obstructing traffic downtown.
“We have a game today and tomorrow, and Thursday is the bronze-medal game. Right after that is the gold-medal game,” Kaz said.
This year, there are four competing groups with about 10-12 players each, including two teams from the City of Vernon, one from the law firm of Davidson Pringle and a fourth from the Vernon Morning Star.
The competition was taken quite seriously.
“I’ve already seen people come in with elbow pads,” Kaz said. “One guy couldn’t afford shin pads, so he put some tape and carpet around his knees.”
Another player, the former mayor of Vernon and current council member, Akbal Mund, got even more creative by using oven mitts to pad those delicate knees.
Mund, captain of the City of Vernon’s Pirate team, had some insights to the game.
“There’s no hitting,” Mund said. “You have to be very respectful of all the players out here. We’re here to have fun and not get injured, especially old guys like myself.”
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The team captain also suggested tipping the broom sideways for the shot.
“When you shoot, if you could get down here and shoot sideways, you actually get a better shot,” Mund said. “The strength of the broom is right there and you can hit it harder.”
Although the Pirates did end up annihilating the Vernon Morning Star team 6-1, there was a great deal of spirit, fun and comradery.
“It’s the energy, the themes, the community,” White said. “I often get asked how come we’re still alive when other festivals have died and it’s the community.”
The Vernon Winter Carnival continues until Feb. 10, with dozens of events still scheduled including scavenger hunts, a pirate’s cabaret and a family day in the park.
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