Livestock animals will not be allowed on the fields at Coronation Park for the Kimberley Viking Festival, after a request from the new management team was discussed at a regular Council meeting on Monday.
Jen Silverhorse of Raven Stone, the new manager for the Kimberley Viking Festival, wrote to Council requesting an amendment of the animal bylaw to allow for horses and goats on the fields at the park.
City Staff cited concerns about the potential for the animals to damage the turf and irrigation, specifically horses. Council voted to allow the animals to still be part of the festival, as long as they are not on the turf and in a designated area.
“We’ve spoken with parks and recreation staff and they have concerns about possible damage to the turf and irrigation on the fields. Horses are fairly large animals,” said the City’s Manager of Operations Chris Mummery. “It can take some time to repair that damage. It all depends on the location. If the plan is to have them on the turf, that’s not ideal.”
He adds that in the letter to Council it is unclear how many horses will be involved in the festival and more information is required.
Silverhorse explained in her letter than Cailey Chase of Vahana Nature Rehabilitation hopes to return to the festival with three or four goats.
“They [the goats] were a huge hit with the younger visitors during the 2018 festival and we would love to be able to have them back this year,” Silverhorse wrote, adding that the goats will illustrate their role in viking culture and provide a hands-on experience.
Council members say they hope that all of the animals will be well cared for and protected from the elements, especially if the weather is hot and dry during the festival.
Silverhorse says the goats will be supervised at all times and Chase will oversee their supervision including food, watering and other needs.
With regards to horses, Silverhorse says that Lacey Hadford of Mounted Combat Arts will be bringing her horse(s) to demonstrate how “a mounted combatant would engage with viking ground forces”.
She adds that the horse(s) will be contained in a 10 by 10 panel box stall, located to the right of the main entrance gate, and supervised, fed and watered by the company.
Another stipulation that the City has put on the festival is that organizers ensure they have third party liability insurance to cover any potential injuries or other issues that could arise from having animals at the event.
The Kimberley Viking Festival will take place on July 13 and 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 2019 at Coronation Park. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth, while seniors and children ages six and under are free.