By Tim Kalinowski
The sixth annual Quonset Days is set to bring the party to southeast Alberta on July 22-23. As always, this year’s Quonset Days is a little bit country and a little bit rock n’ roll with Econoline Crush and the Chevelles set to light up the night on July 22 and Phoenix, Kira Isabella and Bobby Wills set to bring it on down the line on July 23.
Janet Biemans, co-founder and organizer for this stellar event, says it’s always been her family’s hope to have Quonset Days top itself every year.
“We’ve got a few surprises up our sleeve,” she says with a laugh. “We try to change it up a little bit every year. If you come, it is an experience you will come back to again and again. We are very family friendly, and we are a farming community so we’re outgoing. It doesn’t matter if we don’t know you, you are going to be taken in as one of the family.”
Quonset Days began as a tribute to Janet’s husband Peter, who died of ALS in 2009, and, at first, saw mostly people from the neighbouring Seven Persons community coming to the event. Six years later the Biemans family’s personal fight to raise awareness and funds for ALS has become a must attend summer event, drawing in concert-goers from far and wide.
“We like to say we are Craven on a small scale,” jokes Biemans. “People love to come back every year. I think a lot of it has to do with the family atmosphere. There are not a lot of events you can take your kids to and still have a few beverages. We have it set up so the kids have just as much fun as the adults.”
Weekend passes for Quonset Days cost $65 and include camping on site. There are also daily passes available. The event will include a silent and live auction. Proceeds to be donated to the ALS Society of Alberta.
“We don’t want anybody drinking and driving so we offer free camping here with admission,” explains Biemans. “So you can bring your trailer out, and bring it out fairly early, because it is a first come first serve basis. For the silent and live auctions, this year we are going to make it a little easier and have an office on site so people can pay by credit card if they want to. We are hoping this year to have a thousand people a day.”
Biemans says, at the end of the day, there is only one thing anybody really needs to know about Quonset Days.
“If you are not having a good time, you are doing something wrong. It’s an experience. And be prepared when you come out not to sleep!”