WHAT’S A GRINCH PARTY?

Colum­nist Adam Gould can fill read­ers in.

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - Adam Gould Mem­ber News Adam Gould is the man­ager of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and gov­ern­ment re­la­tions for the Mem­ber­tou First Na­tion. He is a life­long com­mu­nity mem­ber and looks for­ward to shar­ing the voices of Mem­ber­tou with read­ers.

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

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.

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