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Fewer lines, but why?

The Ukrainian pavilion attracts a full house during the 11th annual Lieutenant Governor’s Winter Festival on Saturday.

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The Ukrainian pavilion attracts a full house during the 11th annual Lieutenant Governor’s Winter Festival on Saturday. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)

Press passes to events are a well-known perk of the job of being a journalist.

They help reporters and photographers get in and out quickly, so that deadlines can be met, and for something like the Lieutenant-Governor's Winter Festival, they ensure that we can make it to as many pavilions as possible in the limited time available.

Because I was doing online updates for the paper, I was able to borrow a press pass for some of the time that I was out and about at the Winter Festival.

But you know what? I hardly ever needed it. Most of the time, we were able to walk right in to pavilions, with no waiting. In fact, on several occasions, the line was so short and moving so quickly that I didn't even both to flash that pass anyway.

That's in stark contrast to previous years.

I don't know why (I have some theories), but I get the feeling that there were far fewer people participating in the Winter Festival this year.

Here are my theories:

1. Festival competition — With the Winter Festival being on the same weekend as the Dakota Nation Winterfest, the Winter Festival didn't take the spotlight like it generally does.

2. Festival fatigue — last year was the bit 10th anniversary; maybe this year just seemed a little less glitzy?

3. Volunteer fatigue — there were only nine pavilions this year, and most of them were ones that have been around a lot.

I had a blast, as I always do. It wasn't too cold, and the hospitality and entertainment were top-notch. And I certainly never went hungry or thirsty. All in all, I donated a fair chunk of money to various cultural groups over the weekend.

It was just what I needed as the tail end of January started to really put its claws into my mood.

Thanks — a lot! — to all the volunteers who make it happen.

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