After a year’s absence, Lobster Fest has returned as strong as ever.

The event – a fundraiser held at the arena by ice user groups – did not take place last year because the recreation centre was being rebuilt.

Coun. Keith Dohey, one of the event’s organizers, holds three tickets to the sold-out Lobster Fest, set for June 2 at the new Rec Centre. Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

However, the 499 available tickets for this year’s event on June 2 sold out by mid-May, which is a little earlier than normal.

Coun. Keith Dohey, one of the organizers, is pleased to see the sellout.

“It’s great to have the support after having a year off,” he said.

“Missing a year without having it definitely didn’t hurt us,” he added. “It’s always a gamble when you stop doing something if you can get everybody back.”

However, 150 tickets were purchased for Lobster Fest on the first day they went on sale.

“So we thought that was a pretty good indicator that we were going to sell out pretty easily,” said Dohey.

A number of organizations join forces to present Lobster Fest, in conjunction with the Rec Board. Those organizations represent figure skating, minor hockey, oldtimers hockey, ladies hockey and rec hockey.

Members of the organizations were also enthusiastic to volunteer for the return of Lobster Fest.

“Coming off the heels of the Arctic Winter Games, I sent out an e-mail kind of half expecting everyone to tell me to go fly a kite. It was like ‘Do we want to do it this year?’ and everybody came back, ‘Yeah, sure let’s do it,'” Dohey said. “Right away everybody was back on board.”

The event features a lobster (or roast beef) dinner on the floor of the arena, along with a dance with live music and a DJ.

Dohey noted that two years ago when Lobster Fest was last held it netted about $23,000.

The money will be used to purchase something for the Rec Centre.

“We’ve got a couple of different options, but we haven’t made a total final decision on it,” said Dohey. “It will be something tangible for the facility.”

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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