Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Festival, A Warrior Race, and A Need for Instant Cloning

It's one of those weekends where I swear if I hear anyone complaining about having "nothing to do" I will lose my mind and stuff my overfilled daytimer down their throats. Ok, maybe I won't do exactly that, but I will explain to them that once again we are at the start of a weekend bustling with activities, and if they can't find anything to do then they just aren't trying hard enough.

interplay 2013 kicked off last weekend with an opening reception and the interPLAY Film Festival, events I was deeply sorry to miss as I was off on an adventure in Edmonton with the Intrepid Junior Blogger (who is lobbying to change her name to the Intrepid Junior Vlogger, as she wants to start a vlog, but I digress). I was sad to miss last weekend, but plan to make up for it this weekend when the events start again - tonight, in fact.

Musical act Havana d'Primera hits the interplay Mix Main Stage at 8:30 pm, and following their performance tonight at 11:30 Nightflix begins in Doug McRae park with an outdoor film screening of Jurassic Park. Now, if I wasn't a boring person with a job to go on Friday I'd likely be there, but it seems I will have to miss the late night fun and instead wait for...

TWO FULL DAYS of interPLAY, plus a visit to the second annual Northern Warrior Race for good measure. The Northern Warrior Race is a test of grit and determination as runners go through a course designed to be tough, challenging, and most of all, muddy. They invited me to participate, which elicited a fit of giggles and a subsequent polite no, (not being a fan of running or dirt) but I do intend to head out to Anzac to check it out and lend my support to a great cause, and one close to my heart - the Centre of Hope, our own little beacon of hope for the homeless in our community.

And when I return from Anzac (hopefully unmuddied) I will hit up interPLAY, with an intense focus on theatre, food, and fun. I am quite excited about several of the plays this year, including "Barefoot in Nightgown by Candlelight", and "The Order of the Black Cloaks", as both involve individuals I am honoured to call friends, and I am anxious to once again see "Mac Attack", a hilarious play I first saw a couple of years ago. I am also thrilled that some of my favourite street performers are back once again, like the stunningly beautiful and incredibly bold Aerial Angels (no one eats fire or breathes sarcasm like those gals!), and then there are the musical acts like Stephen Fearing and then there is the beer tent and then there is the homegrown talent search and then there's the marketplace and potato-on-a-stick covered in salt and vinegar flavouring and...then it occurs to me there is no way I can do this all unless I clone myself about 3 times. But I intend to give it a helluva a good try, and I plan to do as much as I possibly can, likely collapsing in bed every night exhausted after a day of fun, festival, and way, way too much food.

Here's the thing about events like interPLAY, you see. I love being involved in them, whether as a guest or a  volunteer. Last year I had the honour of hosting the hospitality tent for the mainstage artists, and it was truly one of the best weekends I have ever had here as I got to meet great performers from this community and from far away, and share my love of Fort McMurray with them. By the end of those three days I felt like I had been run over by the Aerosmith tribute band tour bus, but it was quite simply three exhilarating days. interPLAY has been part of my life here since I arrived, and was in fact the first event I ever attended in this community, so it will always hold a very special place in my heart and memories. Whether you are a child or an adult, a longtime resident or very new to town interPLAY is perhaps one of the best places to see old friends, meet new people, and experience some arts and culture right in our own backyard.

So, that, in a nutshell, is my weekend. Toss in a couple of coffee dates, the IJB/IJV and her teenage cousin, and our usual weekend mayhem and you have a terrific recipe for a very full and very entertaining weekend in our community. I expect on Monday morning my co-workers will find me asleep under my desk as I attempt to catch up on all the sleep I will lose over the next few days, and that I will be spending my free time finding toothpicks to prop my eyelids open and guzzling down gallons of Starbucks. And frankly, I'm excited as hell, and can't wait to get it started! Welcome back, interPLAY and Northern Warrior Race, and thanks for making sure my weekend will be anything but boring!

Be sure to check out
interPLAY 2013
this weekend from Aug 8-11
the Northern Warrior Race
in Anzac on Saturday Aug 10 -
and my thanks to all the dedicated people
who put on events like these:
 Events Wood Buffalo,
the Centre of Hope,
volunteers at both events,
and everyone else who contributes
to making these events -
and our community -
 a success story!

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