Manitowaning Summerfest boasts more family fun than ever

MANITOWANING—The Southeast Manitoulin Lions Club has been working hard to bring its fans a bigger and better Summerfest this year, its 34th anniversary, which will take place this weekend, July 15 to 17 at the Manitowaning Fairgrounds.

Friday kicks off with the Jim Case Memorial Mixed Slo-Pitch Ball tournament at 6 pm. The proceeds from this great event support Manitowaning Minor Hockey. The beer garden (this year at both the pavilion and ball field) gets underway at 6 pm with the Lions barbecue, also at the pavilion, beginning at 5 pm.

The pavilion will also be home to good music all weekend long. On Friday, the country music band Crooked Hookers hits the stage from 6 to 10 pm. Admission is just $5.

Have a steady hand you’re just itching to show off? Why not try a game of darts beginning at 7 pm, also at the pavilion.

Over on the rink side, the annual ball hockey tournament starts at 7 pm and runs until 10 pm. To register your team, contact Frank at 705-348-1793.

Admission to the fairgrounds on Saturday is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under.

The Jim Case Memorial slo-pitch tournament gets underway Saturday morning, and what better way to fuel up for a full day of events than with a pancake breakfast from 9 to 11 am at the Knox United Church hall.

The parade, this year themed ‘Participation,’ gets underway at 10:30 am. For those entering the parade, meet at the arena at 10 am. Contact Marilyn Moggy at 705-348-2578 for more information or to register.

After a short hiatus, the bed races are back by popular demand. Bring your bed and get racing along Arthur Street starting at 11:30 am.

“They are a blast,” Lion Dorothy Chapman, acting vice president, said of the bed races. “I never laughed so hard in all my life.”

Support the Lions Club at their barbecue, held at the pavilion, from 11 am to 5 pm. Sausages, hamburgers and hot dogs are on offer. Cold drinks and other snacks can be purchased from the Manitowaning Minor Hockey Association snack canteen at the pavilion.

At 1 pm, the darts competition continues with the kids games also starting at 1 pm.

This year the kids’ events promises to be bigger and better than ever. The games are all free and include bicycle races, washer toss, three bouncy castles and, new this year, a 100-foot water slide!

During a Monday interview, Lion Dorothy was about to head out to the site of the water slide, a new addition to this year’s Summerfest. She, with the help of Assiginack public works and summer students, will be laying out the 100 foot-long slide on slippery plastic, banking it with hay bales and getting it soaking wet for a trial run, thanks to township water trucks. The water slide is located on the fairgrounds hill, near the tourist information booth.

“The kids are all excited about it,” she said.

A euchre tournament will be held at the arena from 1 to 4 pm while outside, the horse pull gets started at 3 pm.

A country jamboree will have everyone’s toes a tapping from 1 to 4 pm at the pavilion featuring Island-wide talent. Come one come all!

The Summerfest dance gest underway at 8 pm, running until 1 am at the arena with a video music dance party by KICX FM 91.7. Admission is $15 per person at the door, age of majority only. Be sure to bring your ID. The Lions will also have their barbecues going throughout the dance so bring your appetite too.

Sunday might be what some call the piece de la resistance of Summerfest—the smash-up derby. Cars must arrive at the fairgrounds by 10 am for registration and inspection with the fun getting underway at 1 pm with $2,000 in prizes up for grabs. The cost of admission for the event is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. The beer gardens, Lions barbecue and snack canteen will all be on offer during the event.

For more information about the smash-up derby or to register a car, contact Lion Phil Lebroq at 705-859-1869 or Lion Gary Lewis at 705-603-0071.

Lion Dorothy was effusive in her praise of municipal staff and council, thanking them and her fellow Lions for their hard work in bringing together yet another Summerfest.

See you in Manitowaning!