Boomtown Cup Wins Tourism Award

Published on: Nov 17, 2020
The Boomtown Cup Win’s Tourism Saskatchewan’s ‘Community Event of the Year’ Award

At 10am on formerly unused greenspace on the East edge of town, excited spectators gather around the dirt track, behind cattle gates that have been donated by a local business. There is a buzz of excitement. Trailers pull in and unload their lawnmowers so teams can make the final repairs and modifications on their mower. The roar of lawnmowers along with cheers from the crowd is nearly deafening. Children play, adults converse and everyone mingles – whether it’s with new or familiar faces – the sense of small town hospitably becomes increasingly apparent. “On your mark, get set, GO” as the sound of gunshot echo across the open prairie field.

The smell of BBQ wafts through the crowds. It’s supper time prepared by Shaunavon’s award winning Chef Garrett ‘Rusty’ Thienes from Harvest Eatery, his brigade of volunteers and a group of comedians who raced for the filming of their new Saskatchewan based TV series “Comedy Crawl” and will be performing for the 500 dinner guests after supper service.

Laughter echoes from the east edge of town to the west. Cleanup from the event is swift (because everyone lends a hand), and the transition to the evening cabaret is seamless. Shaunavon’s local Rock ‘n’ Roll band, Highway 13 hits the stage and the party is just getting started.

Shaunavon Boomtown Days & Stampede has been a marquee community event in Shaunavon since 1988. People from the Southwest region of Saskatchewan and beyond come to Shaunavon to partake in the Boomtown festivities which include: a CCA Rodeo, a parade, pancake breakfast, street dances, The Boomtown Market, street bingo, fundraising lunches, live music & entertainment and activities for all ages.

In 2018, a handful of community members led by Tyson Skjerven and Riley Kornfeld came together to breathe new life into the annual celebration of all things Shaunavon by creating one of the WILDEST events in southwest Saskatchewan: The Boomtown Cup Lawnmower Races. Enthusiastic residents, businesses and even RCMP officers jacked up their riding lawnmowers with the hopes of taking home the grand prize: A big shiny trophy and the ultimate bragging rights. The premiere event drew 17 racers from SW Saskatchewan and about 800 attendees. Now in its second year, the 2019 Boomtown Cup attracted 1200+ spectators, and 24 racers (some from as far away as Alberta) with a Grand Prize of $1000!

Beyond being a day of extreme entertainment, the Boomtown Cup partnered with a variety of local volunteers and businesses to help fundraiser for projects and initiatives within the community. Perk Up Our Parks raised $12,779 which went towards the Shaunavon Splash Park Project through a silver donation entry fee, cabaret, 50/50, Calcutta & silent auction and a lawnmower auction. Shaunavon Off-Leash Dog Park raised $5,250 towards the construction of a new dog park facility through a steak supper fundraiser led by Chef Garrett ‘Rusty’ Thienes of Harvest Eatery and volunteers that served up supper to 500 attendees. Thienes also arranged supper entertainment provided by Jodie Peters and his 6-man Comedy Crawl. Southwest Chronic Disease Support (SWCDS) raised $9,843 by a local family, the Piquettes, partnering up with Lucky Bastard Distillery to sell (spiked) fresh squeezed lemonade in honor (and celebration) of the residents who have lost their fight to chronic disease. SWCDS uses funds raised through various initiatives to provide financial help for individuals with chronic illness who may have various expenses associated with their condition.

On Tuesday Nov. 10th, The Boomtown Cup was named Tourism Saskatchewan’s 2019 “Community Event of the Year” Award. This award is presented annually to an event that is a public celebration with a total operating budget of less than $100,000. It demonstrates a capacity and intention to develop itself as a tourism driver over the long term.

The 31st Annual Tourism Saskatchewan Awards, originally scheduled to take place on April 2, 2020 in Regina, were cancelled due to the pandemic. Through the use of technology and adoption of a new virtual format, members of Saskatchewan’s Tourism industry were able to gather from afar to honor outstanding businesses and people who have gone above and beyond to deliver superior service and experiences.