MANITOULIN—With the Canada Day weekend just around the corner, Manitoulin communities across the Island have a wide variety of activities planned to suit all ages and interests.
In Mindemoya, this Canada Day will mark the town’s 35th annual Homecoming weekend and in celebration, there will be a ton of great activities and events.
Beginning Friday, June 29 at the Mindemoya baseball diamonds and continuing throughout the weekend, there will be a mens’ fastball and ladies’ slo-pitch tournaments. Also on Friday evening, starting at 7:30 pm at the J.H. Burt Memorial Arena, will be the Northern Ontario Music Association Wall of Fame Show honouring the Gore Bay Orchestra and Bob Eadie, with a dance to follow, featuring Down Yonder and Friends.
On Saturday, the Mindemoya market will be on at the arena from 9 am until 1 pm, with the popular Homecoming parade starting at 11 am.
From 11 am to 1 pm, there will be children’s activities at the Old School Yard Park gazebo put on by the Manitoulin Best Start Hub.
For car lovers, the old car show will start at 1 pm with a ‘shine and show,’ followed by the annual elimination draw and dinner, and dance from 5 pm to 1 am also at the arena.
Finally, on Sunday, beginning at 9:30 am is the Mindemoya Classic Run, Canoe and Bike Triathlon, starting at the government docks on Lake Mindemoya. There will also be a horseshoe tournament behind the pavilion at 1 pm, with fireworks at the Mindemoya Community Centre ball field concluding the weekend.
In Providence Bay, Canada Day celebrations will start on Saturday, June 30, with the Providence Bay/Spring Bay Lions Club’s yard sale on from 9 am until 3 pm in the parking lot of the Providence Bay Community Centre.
Other Providence Bay activities will take place Sunday, July 1 from 1 pm to 11 pm at the Harbour View Interpretive Centre. The day will begin with children’s games and activities from 1 pm until 4 pm, followed by entertainment, cake and refreshments from 7 to 9 pm.
Throughout the day, there will be a house decorating contest (participants are to sign up at the Interpretive Centre), with the icing on the cake for the day being fireworks on the beach at 10 pm.
The communities of Gordon/Barrie Island will also be hosting Canada Day celebrations on July 1 from 1 to 6 pm at Julia Bay beach.
Starting at 1 pm, there will be turtle boat races. Participants are asked to bring a boat made only out of cardboard and duct tape. There will be prizes for race winners in the under 10-category, ages 11-15 and 16-plus.
Starting at 3 pm there will be a sand sculpture contest. Individuals can show off their creative beach art individually or in teams of up to four people.
Concluding the festivities at 5 pm will be a barbecue and potluck picnic. Those who attend are asked to bring salads and sides, while the town will provide barbecue, condiments and a Canada Day cake for dessert.
All weekend in Kagawong, Manitoulin Chocolate Works will be holding a strawberry social. Serving up strawberry treats, the Chocolate Works will be using freshly picked Emiry’s Berry Farm Strawberries from Massey to make strawberry rhubarb chocolate, chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate swirl strawberry cupcakes, homemade mini-strawberry rhubarb pies and strawberry iced tea.
On Friday, June 29, the Little Current United Church will kick off Little Current’s Canada Day weekend festivities with a fish dinner with sittings at 5 and 6:15 pm.
On Sunday, downtown Little Current will become a buzz of activity downtown, with Water Street closed to vehicle traffic from 10 am until 8 pm July 1, with events put on by the Little Current Business Improvement Area as part of its Canada Day Summer Fair.
From 10 am until 6 pm there will be an in-water boat sale. Individuals who wish to display their boats for sale can do so for free, with free launching as well. Island residents are invited to come down and “dicker for a deal” at the downtown finger docks (between Kool-It Ice and the Edgewater).
Starting at 11 am, the downtown will be full of vendors from Manitoulin crafters, artisans, bakers and growers, followed by Canada Day cake in front of the post office at noon.
All morning, there will be a special Canada Day farmers’ market from 9 am to 1 pm, while at the Manor there will be a yard sale, silent auction and bake sale from 9 am until 1 pm.
Kids are invited to help paint a Canada Day mural beside the post office at noon, with a theme of the swing bridge this year.
Also for children, the De-ba-jeh-mu-jig Theatre Group is inviting kids to join them at the Little Current downtown parking lot at 10 am for a morning of improvisation theatre games and activities, leading up to a special noon performance.
Going on throughout Little Current on Canada Day will be a town-wide yard sale, with yard sale locator maps available at the Manitoulin Welcome Centre or in downtown businesses, as well as a Christmas in July bake and yard sale from 11 am to 2:30 pm at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church on Robinson Street.
Wrapping up the day in the port town will be an open mic from 4:30 until 6:30 pm with MC Dave Draper accompanying singers (rain day location will be at The Anchor Inn).
Ice Lake residents will be holding a picnic on July 1, starting at 11 pm. All are welcome to attend at the Ice Lake picnic grounds and are asked to bring a dish for the potluck lunch and supper. There will be a bazaar/auction, fishpond, horseshoe tournament and games for all ages.
In Gore Bay, the community will be holding its annual waterfront Canada Day fireworks starting at dusk (around 10 pm).
In South Baymouth, Canada Day events begin Saturday, June 30 at the Little Schoolhouse Museum with a barbecue and silent auction. The annual South Baymouth Canada Day parade starts at 1:30 pm, followed by the United Church’s fish supper at John Budd Park at 5 pm. Fireworks in South Baymouth will be held on Sunday, July 1 over the marina at dusk.
With so much to see and do, there is lots to keep Islanders young and old alike busy this 145th Canada Day!