Islanders will be seeing stars at Manitoulin Country Fest this weekend

LITTLE CURRENT – Imagine that! This week is the fifth edition of the Manitoulin Country Fest event.

It will be held again this year at Low Island Park in Little Current where country music enthusiasts can be doubly blessed by seeing and hearing their favourite artists while simultaneously enjoying the great sunsets that bless the town’s park.

Again this year, people coming to Manitoulin Country Fest will be able to enjoy three such sunsets as the musical program spans Thursday through Saturday with highlight acts scheduled for each day.

Sunday is, thematically, the fourth day of the big event with gospel music scheduled (also at Low Island) from 9 am to 11 am with two bands: The Kings’ Highway from 9 am, and the C-Denny Band from 10 am.

Amanda Wilkinson will close Thursday’s show, performing from 9:30 pm until 11 pm. Popular Jason Blaine is Ms. Wilkinson’s lead act (8 pm to 9 pm). Mike Trudell performs Thursday from 6 pm to 6:30 pm followed by Shelly Rastin, 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

On Friday, fans will be lining up to hear Jason McCoy end the day’s music with an hour-and-a-half concert from 10 pm until 11:30 pm. Dean Brody will nudge Mr. McCoy between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm and the day will get underway featuring the Wilsons (4:30 to 5:15 pm) then One More Girl (5:45 pm to 6:30 pm) and Tara Oram at 7 pm.

As usual, the concert builds up to Saturday with two big names ending the day: George Canyon will be sure to bring the house down between 9:30 pm and 11 pm and local legend Crystal Shawanda will bookend Mr. Canyon with her sure-to-be-stellar show starting at 8 pm. The longest musical day will begin at 2 pm with Tenille followed by Six West (3:30 to 4:30 pm) and then it’s Tom Jackson (a man of many talents who developed a major following as a result of his lead role on the popular and long-running CBC TV series ‘North of 60’) who will demonstrate his musical creds (his initial career) from 5 pm to 6 pm. After Tom Jackson and before Crystal Shawanda, Jamie Warren will perform from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. All that and fireworks too.

The fireworks show will take place Saturday night after 11 pm, just following the George Canyon show.

Tickets to Manitoulin Country Fest will be available as either day passes or event passes at the gate at Low Island. And don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs.

The weather promises to remain bright and sunny through the week and weekend so a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen are also advised.

As usual, local organizations are serving food and beverages on the grounds at Low Island.

Parking near Low Islands is extremely limited so Manitoulin Country Fest impresarios Craig and Kelly Timmermans urge (in the strongest possible terms) concert goers to park their vehicles at one of the town parking lots (whose signs now feature a giant green P) that are located across from the hospital on Meredith Street and off Water Street West with access via McGregor Street beside Boyle Marina.

There is also ample parking at the town’s recreation centre and arena at Little Current’s southern boundary off Manitowaning Road and the Country Fest organizers urge their guests to take advantage of this spot together with the bus shuttles they run very frequently between Low Island and the recreation centre lot throughout the event’s duration.