WHAT’S A GRINCH PARTY?
Columnist Adam Gould can fill readers in.
One mean Grinch Party, that is!
For my readers who may be wondering what the heck a Grinch Party is, allow me to share that with you.
Every second Saturday in January of the new year (sorry for the delay!), the Grinch hosts one of the biggest and best parties in Membertou.
Okay, so who is this ‘Grinch?’ Well, he isn’t your typical Grinch. He doesn’t reside outside of Whoville, but instead is from Membertou-ville. He doesn’t sneak down our chimneys on Christmas Eve, snatching gifts and trees; our Grinch waits until after the holidays, before he starts to collect Christmas trees.
He is our good friend, Calvin “Jip” Paul. I’ve known Jip my entire life and he is one of the friendliest, most genuine people you’ll ever meet.
So you may still be asking, “Okay, so what is this Grinch Party?” It’s simple.
The Grinch Party is one of ‘Tou-ville’s most anticipated assemblies, the biggest and best bonfire of the year.
You’re with good friends and family, both young and old, some you meet for the first time, others you haven’t seen in years (Hey, James!).
Basically, it’s one heck of a good time.
Until this year, I had never been to the Grinch Party. Last year, we had a storm and the previous year it was way too cold. I promised myself that I would have no excuses in 2017, and I was so happy I attended.
Earlier in the day I decided to go be ne’lek (pronounced ‘ nay- lag’), or ‘nosey’ over at the Grinch’s quarters. Like any great host, Jip was in full prep-mode, making sure everything was in place. Tunes were already booming from the DJ booth, or trailer.
Grinning, Jip Grinch shows me the first “kindling pile” that will ignite the night. It is a monolith of fir and spruce trees.
“About 25 all together,” he answered my question with a grin.
I’m amazed by this Christmas tree colossus; its initial height about 15 feet with a radius of 20.
Lines of extra kindling, another 325 trees, lay in cords across the grounds.
“How did it all start?” I asked. “Some of it is from here, some of it is from Shubie. This is the 13th annual Grinch Party,” explained Jip.
Launch time was 10 p.m. sharp, and I made it back just in time for lift-off. The locals have already gathered along some of the “rez dogs,” including one believed to be a veteran of Grinches 1-12.
From the first flicker, you become fixated on the flames. They illuminate their surroundings, creating a brilliant glow that is seen flickering from a distance. Embers rise into the night like swarms of fireflies, mirroring the stars above in a clear, black sky.
It takes no time before extra fuel is added. I had to make my first offering to the fire.
The guys stand back, shouting, “First timer,” as I selected my contribution. Success, followed by another half-dozen or so. You don’t want to be “cut-off” at the Grinch Party; the one-person limit this year being 35.
I cannot wait to do it again. This year was my first Grinch Party, next year I plan on being the first to be cut-off.
Thank you, Jip, and everyone for the 2017 Grinch Party. Let’s do it again on January 13, 2018.
Now that’s a fire. More than 350 Christmas trees went up in smoke at this year’s Grinch Party in Membertou recently.
Shown here is the kindling supply, a total of 351 trees.
Boots the dog is the only rez dog to attend all 13 Grinch Parties.
Jip the Grinch Paul is shown just a few short hours away from the big light-up.