Kagawong celebrates the snow with annual winter festival

Kids spent hours on “Snow Mountain” while their parents enjoyed chatting with vintage sled owners.

KAGAWONG—Decorations at the wine and cheese reception held Friday evening were deemed “divine” by one guest, and judging by the applause following Folk Roots Collective’s concert, Kagwong’s Winter Fest was off to a great start.

The band’s musicians, who debuted at last year’s event, are comprised of original members Don Bainbridge, Marcel Beneteau, Matt Muranger and Jamie Ward. Newest additions to the ensemble are Chris and Heather Theijsmeijer.

Carol Corneau welcomed those in attendance. “We are thrilled to have the support of the community.” Ms. Corneau drew attention to the homemade snowflakes scattered throughout the building created by children in the village. It was an evening for adults, but with these special touches, the event included them as well.

Members of the audience were encouraged by Mr. Beneteau to “feel free to join in” during the chorus during songs like ‘Mill Towns’ by Scottish writer David Francey: “Don’t follow me down boys, don’t follow me down boys, don’t follow me down boys, don’t follow me down.”

Billings Recreation Committee hosted Friday evening’s wine and cheese and partnered with Economic Development Committee (EDC) and the Euchre Club to offer a family friendly day of activities on Saturday.

Breakfast included French toast, sausage and fresh brewed coffee and was served by EDC beginning at 8 am. The canteen opened at 11:30 am serving Winter Fest fare along with one very popular addition: beaver tails. The third annual cook-off was won by Vivian Rusk.

Throughout the day kids were outside sliding down Snow Mountain or picking up hats and other goodies from the fire department. Their parents enjoyed maple taffy, vintage snowmobiles, or checking out ‘Winter on Manitoulin’ photos and poetry displayed on the stairway leading to the hall where tables were set up offering winter survival tips and other information.

Returning for a second year was Manitoulin Snowdusters, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Fire Department. New this year was Pat Hess of North Wind Adventure, Kathy Jewell of Kat’s Pet Supplies, Dr. Joanne Paquette, Ted Kilpatrick, Manitoulin Fire Fund and Manitoulin WildER Med.

Aaron Wright of Manitouin Fire Fund said people showed “a lot of interest” while Lori Oswald of Manitoulin WildER Med was pleased that a lot of seniors felt they could take advantage of “learning how to make a sling from a tee shirt.”

Euchre winners included teams of Mike and Susan Arbour, Bill Trayner and Brad Parkinson, Bill Case and Betty Jean Bailey, Lil Boyd and Muriel Hunt, Deanie and Marcel Turgeon and Charlene and Donna Van Horn.

Organizer Susan Arbour was pleased to see eight tables of players for the afternoon and said they had a good day with lots of laughs.

Throughout the weekend patrons were encouraged to enter their name in a draw for a barbecue which was generously donated by Mindemoya Home Hardware. The winner was Randy Hohenadel.

Weather conditions did not allow for a kite flying demo on Saturday as planned, so it was rescheduled for Sunday. Several interested people joined Mr. Hess and partner Rachel Ball on Mudge Bay to try their hand at flying a learner kite. Gusty conditions made it challenging but fun.