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Mayor hosts end of summer picnic Everyone’s invited to Hugh O’Reilly’s do. The eighth annual Mayor’s Picnic is scheduled to take place on Sunday, Aug. 30 at 11:30 a.m. in Rainbow Park. Organized by the municipality’s parks and recreation department, the annual Mayor’s Picnic seeks to bring the community together in an old fashioned, wholesome, family get-together kind of way. There will be a barbecue, games and races, as well as contests, activities, jugglers and a blues band. Whistler Sailing is providing free use of canoes and sailboats so the party can spread out on to the lake. Skydiver Jumpin’ Jim Hodge makes his traditional appearance at noon to kick off the picnic. The festivities are held to celebrate the end of a busy parks and recreation summer. It is free and usually attracts hundreds of parents and their children. If the weather is questionable on the day the parks department advise picnic-goers to tune into Mountain FM for updates. Scrub off your mutt in WAG fund-raiser Whistler’s seventh annual opportunity for local dogs to come clean will be hitting the community on Aug. 29 and 30. The Doggie Wash, organized by Whistler Animals Galore, encourages local dog owners to bring their animals out for an afternoon of washing and pampering. The event takes place at the Whistler fire hall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m on each day. Draw prizes will be available for both dogs and their owners. Proceeds from the event will go to WAG’s animal efforts, including veterinarian fees, pet food and supplies and costs involved in animal adoption. Anyone interested in volunteering for the event should call WAG at 938-8642. Private garden judged Bloomin’ best It’s official: Janice Hall has the best garden in Whistler. The municipality’s first efforts at the Communities in Bloom gardening contest drew entries from all kinds of different residential and commercial categories. Hall’s small garden, tucked behind a Benchlands condo, won the overall bloomin’ best prize. Hall’s daughter, who calls her the Garden Lady of Whistler, entered her in the competition without her knowledge. Now that she’s won first prize she will be flying to Victoria to attend a tour of the Butchart Gardens. Hall’s garden also won in the "garden that best exemplifies the Whistler character" category. It is complete with a goldfish pond and a memorial to Geoff "Lumpy" Leidal. Judges for the competition, landscape architect Tom Barratt, Rose Lynch of High Country Landscaping and municipal staffer Jan Newton, said it was a difficult decision to narrow the field down to one winner because of all the beautiful gardens and talented gardeners in Whistler. Overall there were 22 winners and runners up in nine categories. There were also 10 honourable mentions. Prizes ranged from sports centre passes to lift tickets and logo-wear. The garden contest was part of the municipality’s Communities in Bloom program. On Aug. 17 judges from the national non-profit program of the same name toured Whistler’s parks, trails and village, judging the resort on floral displays, turf, forestry, environmental practice, heritage conservation, tidiness and level of community participation. Parks and recreation staff are anxiously awaiting the announcement of the results, expected sometime in late September. Fresh talent sought for the Whistler Singers Whistler's longest-running adult community choir is on the look-out for new members, including a strong piano accompanist, to participate in their fall performance season. The Whistler Singers will be rehearsing on Monday evenings at Myrtle Philip elementary, with the season running from Sept. 14 to Dec. 24. Participation costs are $40 until the end of the year. Registration for the group will be held at the school on Sept. 14 at 6:45 p.m., or interested parties can pre-register by calling Maureen Morrison at 932-5316 or Candace Bennett-Bush at 932-3022. Anyone interesting in serving as the group's pianist can arrange for an audition by calling musical director Colleen Koop at 898-5981. Take the A-train There’s no excuse for not going to see the choo-choos now. On Aug. 30 the West Coast Railway Association’s Heritage Park in Squamish is offering admission by donation as an incentive for visitors of all ages. The offer coincides with their annual picnic. As an added bonus all riders on the mini-rail around the park can have three gos for a twoonie. The park illustrates the railway heritage of Canada ‘s west with over 50 pieces of vintage rolling stock. Both full-size passenger and freight trains are on display, with some dating back more than 100 years. The theme park, located north of Squamish on Highway 99, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Oct. 31.

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