Submitted by Noreen Shaw
It’s 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning and dedicated volunteers are already at work. It’s a beehive of activity as men and women set up tents, carry tables and chairs to various locations, erect signs and hang balloons. This scene is recreated in Kimbelrey’s Platzl the first Saturday of each month, July through October.
By 10 a.m. the vendors start to arrive at their designated areas with a wonderful array of art work, fashionable hand made clothing, edibles and collectibles to name but a few. Crowds of supporters, kids, parents, visitors and vocals our into the area to buy, eat, visit and generally soak up the sunshine and hospitality Kimberley has to offer. Children activities are a big part of the day with games and crafts, face painting and the popular Imagination Station.
Musicians take centre stage in the gazebo during the day, followed by a free outdoor concert in the evening.
First Saturdays began in 2013 in an effort to bolster and support our downtown businesses during an economic downturn and also showcase our arts, culture and heritage. To quote chair Carol Fergus, “First Saturday could not have continued to function if it were not for grants such as the $3,000 received from the Kimberley and District Community Foundation.”
The Foundation was created in in 2001 in order that current and former residents of the area could make a lasting contribution to their community. The Foundation accepts, bequests, donations and gifts from individuals and corporations to create permanent endowment funds. It is the interest earned from these funds that is granted to various charitable organizations in Kimberley and surrounding area. Since the Foundation was founded, it has distributed over $290,000 back into the community. In November 2018, the Foundation granted over $23,000 to eight different groups, including First Saturdays. Way to go, Kimberley.