From parade to the amazing display of lilies in the gardens and parks the quilt show to the entertainment stage, everything was a colourful success.
Festival-goers were treated to entertainment from until late at night in the "big tent".
The lily show was the largest in Manitoba as the lily gardens yielded best of the best.
And "best ever" was a term often repeated about giant Saturday parade. Featured this year were three marching bands and the Filipino Association of Neepawa and Area (FANA) dancers, who wound their way down the entire parade route in traditional costumes while performing a dance routine at every intersection.
But it was behind the scenes -- the places that few people see -- that is heart and soul of the Lily Festival.
Assisting with set up and of fencing and supplies were the Town of Neepawa employees,Tent Rental workers, FANA volunteers and numerous others.
Building in numbers every year, the FANA group this year provided 25 for set up and take down duties.
The quilt show was prepared in time with their help, as well as the smaller tents, the tables and, the decorating and fencing. It takes about 300 volunteers to run the festival and Neepawa's newcomers have certainly added to those numbers.
One of the toughest jobs the FANA group has done for the past two years is to transform the Yellowhead Centre hall from an old-tyme dance floor to a 90-table flea market late at night.
Early Sunday morning, a big crew came back and helped exhibitors haul wares to their tables and, at the end of the day, the volunteers helped with the take down.
On the Lily Festival main site, as the gospel music afternoon winds down, the site is a flurry of activity as take down begins. Thanks to the dozens of volunteers, the site is back to a bare street in a matter of a few hours.
Throughout the weekend, volunteers are staffing the information booth, tour tent, the lily show, quilt show and setting up for meals.
The Neepawa Legion provides a much-appreciated lunch parade for participants. The Festival committee served more than 580 meals on site with the most popular meal being the Saturday Pork-on-a-bun, with donations by Hylife Foods.
More than 260 people went on the garden and historical tours and over 380 participated in the horse drawn wagon tours.
For the shoppers, this year we had 45 vendors with a variety of products to choose from.
The spaces filled quickly and we had a waiting list for any cancellations. Many vendors have pre-booked for next year.
The festival always draws visitors to Neepawa from all across Canada and this year we welcomed folks from China, Spain, Germany, West Indies, England and many parts of the United States.
Many comments were received on the hospitality, the beauty of our town and the great parade. Visitors also commented about the good community team work and that we have all worked hard to make a great festival.
Restaurants, hotels and businesses were also pleased with the additional visitors during the weekend.
The lily executive has several committee chairs including Brent Hunter, lily development; Ron Santos, properties; Betty Kozak, marketing; Ken Waddell, chairman; Audrey Heffell, executive director; and Joyce Kingdon, treasurer.
The Festival has 20 sub-committees and works with numerous organizations.
Neepawa and Area Lily Festival