mayor on wssf 

Mayor compares WSSF to New Year’s Eve It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Or in the case of an agitated and over anxious crowd Saturday evening at the base of Whistler/Blackcomb, an ice-ball in the face or having to scramble for cover during the much anticipated Big Air competition and Sloan concert. Whistler Mayor Hugh O’Reilly said he was one of the victims of the onslaught of snowballs Saturday directed at the Garibaldi Lift Co. patio. "It was funny for a few minutes, then the mob-frenzy starts; you’re hidden in the mob and you forget about yourself," O’Reilly said about the group throwing snowballs. "We had to run for cover and go inside so it was unfortunate. And I don’t think anyone wanted anybody to get hurt. I think the combination of events is what caused that incident. So we’re really going to have to look at it for next year, to catch our breath and think about what we’ll change and what we won’t." O’Reilly said events, such as the quarterpipe competition held at the base of Blackcomb during the Word Cup Freestyle competition in January, are an example of how well an event comes off when it’s of the major variety, and on its own. "There was 4,000 people at the quarterpipe competition and we didn’t have any problems. It went off without incident. "But we have some issues now. We have to gather information, because this (World Ski and Snowboard Festival) is the equivalent of New Year’s. The difference with the festival this year was the snow. It was mud at the base last year. "We certainly don’t want to put an end to it, like the Peach Festival in Penticton. "Overall I think the festival was good. Most of it seemed to run very well." O’Reilly said a meeting with festival organizers would likely occur as early as this week.

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