Saskatoon wakeboarding fest sparks complaints
Saskatoon’s weekend WakeRide festival is now just a fading memory — happy for many, but for some, unpleasant.
Attracting more than 7,000 people to Saskatoon’s waterfront, it was billed as a fun weekend of wakeboarding, motocross, skateboarding and music at Victoria Park and River Landing, with the money going to inner city youth.
But according to one city councillor, the fun turned into a big headache.
“Quite frankly I’ve been getting a lot of complaints throughout the weekend about the noise, the public urination, the drunken behaviour, beer cans left in the alleys and on the streets,” Coun. Pat Lorje said.
“People do not like the WakeRide Festival there.”
On Monday, crews were busy taking apart the stages and cleaning up.
Police said this year was a lot worse than last year for drunkenness, public urination, and parking infractions.
However, organizers say they took pains to minimize problems at WakeRide and wouldn’t do anything differently.
“Even the JazzFestival or the Fringe for example, residents in those neighbourhoods, I know, have concerns about noise and vandalism,” said WakeRide director Shad Ali.
“Those are the reasons why we took some of the precautions we took for this event — to put extra people on the street, to put patrols on the street and to take responsibility for driving the site.”
Organizers are alreadly looking ahead to next year’s event, but if Councillor Lorje has it her way, it’ll be on the move.
She says she’ll be taking her concerns about WakeRide to city council.