Bivver bet­ter late than never

Post­poned event meant loss of par­tic­i­pants

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - Front Page - BY SARAH LADIK

The orig­i­nal plan may have been rained out, but last week­end’s Mid Win­ter Bivver more than made up for it.

“We were sold out in Jan­uary, about 191 snow­mo­bil­ers,” Todd Mercer, as­sis­tant recre­ation di­rec­tor with the town of Grand Falls-Wind­sor, told the Ad­ver­tiser on Satur­day, not­ing the event lost 70 or 80 par­tic­i­pants as a re­sult.

“We had 105 or so on the ride to­day, and we would have had 170 or 180. With con­di­tions the way they were, that was prob­a­bly enough. Every­body seemed to en­joy them­selves and it was all good.”

The sev­enth an­nual Bivver brought to­gether snow­mo­bile en­thu­si­asts and food­ies once again take part in a week­end of ac­tiv­i­ties that com­bined the two. There were sev­eral rides planned, most no­tably Satur­day’s, which saw more than 100 rid­ers take to the trails west of town for most of the day, as well as stops along the way where they could re­fresh them­selves with gourmet trail food.

The event cul­mi­nated in the For­ager’s Feast on Satur­day night at the Royal Cana­dian Legion, which fea­tured a five-course meal pre­pared by Sysco cor­po­rate chef Roary MacPher­son, ex­ec­u­tive chef Al­lan Mil­ley and ex­ec­u­tive chef Peter But­ler.

“The Grand Falls com­mu­nity and sur­round­ing ar­eas have al­ways been into ski­doos, and now, be­cause of th­ese culi­nary events, are start­ing to ap­pre­ci­ate fine foods,” Mil­ley told the Ad­ver­tiser.

“Now that we’re merg­ing them to­gether, it brings every­body to­gether and every­body seems to be en­joy­ing it.”

But­ler said while there are nice places to eat in town, the Bivver and other culi­nary events give peo­ple a chance to ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing they can’t have ev­ery day.

MacPher­son, who has been in­volved in the Bivver since the very be­gin­ning, said it has been re­ward­ing to watch the ap­petite for fine din­ing grow in the prov­ince, es­pe­cially in cen­tral New­found­land.

“With the in­ter­net, the Food Net­work, peo­ple travel more – they want to see things, they want to ex­pe­ri­ence things,” he said. “When I first started in the in­dus­try, it was pretty ba­sic; you had your top-end French restau­rants in St. John’s, and other than that you had your lo­cal jigg’s din­ner, fish and chips. Now when peo­ple travel or move back, they want to have that culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence, and they want to have it right in their own back yard, and what bet­ter place to have it than Grand Fall­sWind­sor?”

And if those at the feast were es­pe­cially vo­ra­cious, it was in part due to the great rid­ing that had taken place ear­lier in the day. Ex­ploits Trail­net mem­ber Dave Noel said while there wasn’t much snow along the old rail bed in town, con­di­tions were ex­cel­lent once the rid­ers got out west of the town.

“We’re pro­mot­ing (cen­tral) as a tourist des­ti­na­tion, with 400 km of groomed trails that lead to back coun­try, to all kinds of things; there’s some­thing for ev­ery­one,” he said. “We just want to get peo­ple out and en­joy­ing the win­ter.”


Satur­day’s Trail Mix In­ter­pre­tive Snow­mo­bile Ride at­tracted around 100 snow­mo­bil­ers, which was a good num­ber con­sid­er­ing the event had been post­poned from its orig­i­nal date.

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