Kagawong’s Winter Fest host to winter fun, wine and song

by Sharon Jackson

KAGAWONG—Plans are underway for the annual Winter Fest, which is sure to have something for each member of the family. Members of the Billings Recreation Committee, along with many community volunteers have hosted this and many other events.

New to Winter Fest this year is a wine and cheese reception from 7 to 10 pm on Friday evening, February 20 at the Park Centre featuring a concert by Folk Roots Collective who has added some new faces to complement the ensemble. Music begins at 7:45 pm. At press time Carol Corneau, one of the volunteers on the Committee shared, “we are thrilled to announce the wine and cheese reception is sold out. Thank you everyone for your support, we look forward to seeing you Friday evening.”

Members of the Economic Development Committee (EDC) will don aprons and serve breakfast from 8 to 11 am on Saturday morning, February 21, with profits going to future events in the community, stated Chair Sharon Alkenbrack.

The Park Centre will be buzzing throughout the day both inside and out. Inside activities include a canteen including the third annual Chili Cook Off. Bring your best crock pot of chili and you could win $50 as the People’s Choice. The canteen opens at 11:30 am with the Chili Cookoff winner announced at 1 pm. Beaver tails have been added to this year’s menu.

Returning to Winter Fest are the Manitoulin Snowdusters, Billings Volunteer Fire Department and Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) who will have tables set up from 11 am to 1 pm with information on winter road/trail and home safety.

Kat’s Pet Supplies, Manitoulin WildER Med, Manitoulin Fire Fund, Dr. Jo-anne Paquette from the Island Animal Hospital, retired veterinarian Ted Kilpatrick and North Wind Adventure join them to provide information on everything from how to keep your pet healthy and well dressed during the colder winter months to learning how you can support an Island family who has lost everything in a house fire.

Bring a partner for the euchre tournament at 1 pm. Players will receive $3 off the price of the chili lunch. If you need a partner, contact Susan Arbour at 705-282-8176 or Sharon Montgomery at 705-282-8558.

Vintage snowmobile owners are encouraged to bring their sled for display. Contact 705-282-6252 for more details.

Snowshoes will be available for rent from 10 am to 2 pm courtesy of Auberge Inn.

Enjoy lunch inside or outdoors at the Snowflake Cafe where tables and chairs will be set up.

Kids can delight in sliding down Snow Mountain at the north end of the parking lot and then warm up by enjoying maple taffy or toasting marshmallows over a fire tended by members of the Fire Department.

Pat Hess of North Wind Adventure encourages everyone to join NWA in Kagawong at the Park Centre from 11 am to 12 noon for a snow kite demo, sign up and Q and A. Sign your name on a guest list and meet us on Mudge Bay at 1 pm and try a learning kite for yourself. “Keep your eyes in the skies and watch for kites.” Mr. Hess attended Winter Fest last year and is excited to return.

Hot dogs, roasted marshmallows and hot chocolate will satisfy the kids before heading to the outdoor rink at the Aus Hunt Marina for activities at 1 pm.

“We plan to create large snow patterns and encourage people to get creative with designs and shapes on the ice. 4elements will have snowshoes available free of charge for members and their children,” shared Kendra Edwards of 4elements Living Arts.

Members of the Billings Fire department, along with community volunteers, took on the task of flooding and cleaning off the ice, which has become a popular attraction.

Everyone is encouraged to submit their favourite ‘Winter on Manitoulin Island’ photos or poetry to be displayed inside the Park Centre on Saturday.

Winter Fest is for all members of the community, especially children, shared Jim Chambers, member of the Recreation Committee.

Everyone is encouraged to enter your name in our draw for a chance to win a barbeque donated by Mindemoya Home Hardware, said Mr. Chambers.

Winter Fest is organized by members of the Billings Recreation Committee and the many community volunteers. For more information visit www.facebook.com/kagawong1