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Wow!

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It’s safe to say that last Friday night’s fourth-annual "Quest for the Best" was the best one yet--a sentiment echoed among spectators and contestants alike.

In fact, you felt sorry for the judges who faced the unenviable task of having to choose not only the top five but also rank them from first to fifth. Frankly, any one of them could have walked away with the top honours.

The level of talent, and the quality of the show itself, can best be summed up by a Winnipeg couple who had tickets to "Quest" while here visiting friends. They walked into the arena auditorium expecting to hear some rinky-dink, smalltown show and came away literally at a loss for words.

One can only imagine the accolades they took home with them about our area.

But if "Quest" was the highlight of this year’s Little Amik Winter Carnival, the rest of the weekend was a close second. The crowd upstairs at the arena was overwhelming both Saturday and Sunday, and almost all of the events were big hits. The weather was great (alas, too nice for the jam pail curlers) and everyone seemed to have a good time.

The success of the winter carnival comes just as an economic impact study showed the annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship last July pumped more than $1 million into the local economy. And while the winter carnival doesn’t pretend to draw in similar numbers, it’s clear neither event would get off the ground if it wasn’t for the tremendous support by volunteers and district businesses.

A lot of hard work, time, and sponsorship goes into staging an event like the winter carnival and bass derby, not to mention the myriad of other ones we enjoy throughout the year. But yet they answer the call, often year in and year out, to make our community a better place to live.

And that deserves the biggest applause of all.

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