The District of New Hazelton is promising a big celebration if they are named one of the host cities for the regional community torch festivities during the 2015 Canada Winter Games torch relay.
The district was named one of the finalists in the northwest region to host the celebrations, along with Terrace last week.
“We’re excited for sure and we would really like to have the opportunity to have the torch relay come through New Hazelton. I think it would be a great boost to us as a community and to the area,” said Wendy Hunt, the district’s chief administrative officer.
They are also planning it in conjunction with their annual Winterfest celebration that they hold on the first Friday of December, which includes fireworks, a visit from Santa Claus, free hamburgers and hot dogs, a bon fire, performances from First Nations dance groups and the community choir, and dog sled rides if the weather holds up.
“It would be a great combination to have those two things together,” said Hunt. “It’s a chance for the community to come together and celebrate, so we thought this would make a good addition.”
New Hazelton is home to Olympian Carol Huynh, olympic wrestler Lyndsay Belisle, a Taekwondo champion and BC Games alumni Regan Yee.
“It was quite an honour,” said Mayor Gail Lowry. “We’re a small community and we’ve had a lot of world class athletes come out of our small town and I think it’s nice that we have the opportunity to showcase them.”
The Olympic torch did pass through New Hazelton in 2010 and the district received a fantastic response from the community then, added Hunt.
Voting is now open at www.canadagames2015.ca and ends on Sept. 12.
The three community winners will be announced at the Union of BC Municipalities conference in Whistler in September.
The 2015 Canada Winter Games takes place between Feb. 13 and Mar. 1 in Prince George.