By Carson Ellis
For the Castor Advance
Castor Winterfest organizers held their royalty coronation at the Paintearth Lodge on Wednesday, Feb 6.
Event organizer Diana Boxma welcomed guests and residents to the event, giving a brief history of the Castor Winterfest which started in January 1984. She noted that the event did take a brief hiatus starting in 2012 but returned to the community in 2022. She explained to those in attendance that each committee over the years works to build on the efforts of previous years. She then invited everyone to share a toast which had first been read for the event in 1994.
After the introduction, Boxma introduced Castor Mayor Richard Elhard. Elhard spoke briefly about the three finalists who were running for the Winterfest royalty title. The first finalist was Erma Marquart. Marquart and her family have been in the area for many years, and she has 30 years of experience at the Paintearth Lodge itself. In addition, she has been involved with her church and described her as a driving force at the Castor Opportunity Centre. Elhard spoke of the many ways Marquart has worked in the community, describing her as a ‘Gold Medalist’ volunteer.
Don Sisson was the next of the three. When he came to Castor 40 years ago, he was the manager of the UGG grain elevator. Since then, he has run several businesses including the Bottle Depot. Sisson has also been busy over the years working to keep the Castor Little Theatre alive and well. Sisson currently sits on the town council and Elhard noted him as “a wonderful asset” to the town.
The last and youngest finalist was Abby Boxma. Boxma is in grade five at Theresetta School. Boxma loves volleyball, but also curls and enjoys badminton. Boxma’s family lives on a farm out of town, and Abby says she helps take care of the chickens as well as her other responsibilities.
Elhard then opened the envelope to announce the 2024 Winterfest Royalty winner. He was pleased to announce that Abby Boxma was the winner. Boxma was then presented with the sash, crown and cloak for the role. Anita Thomas of Chic to Hick Flowers and Gifts presented Boxma with a bouquet from her shop in Castor.
Abby Boxma wanted to thank everyone for voting for her. She also wanted to congratulate the other finalists for their community support.
Diana Boxma extended the appreciation of herself and the Winterfest committee to everyone who voted.
She explains that there is a cost to vote and that the money is then put towards the event. Boxma says that this year, voting raised $600.
She also wanted to thank Thomas for her generous contribution to the ceremony.