Something for everyone at Gore Bay Harbour Days this weekend

Troy Frazier, Stephanie Ivanko and Lisa Frazier from Columbus, Ohio relax in the family-sized chair. Troy has been attending Harbour Days for 35 years!

GORE BAY—Harbour Days is back once again at the Gore Bay waterfront, promising action-packed thrills and relaxation for all during its run this weekend.

The event kicks off at 9 am this Friday, July 26 with a farmers’ market on the waterfront that runs until 1 pm. At noon comes inflatable dinghy races as well as a river tube race and games on the waterfront beach south of the main marina dock. Inflatable dinghies and tubes will be provided. The dinghy races have individual and two-person team options, with the team variant requiring the rower to be blindfolded. Prizes will be awarded to the best-themed costume of the two-person teams. Please note that lifejackets are required and will not be provided.

Reptilia, the ever-popular reptile zoo that lets people get up-close and personal with all manner of reptiles and exotic creatures, makes a free appearance at 2 pm. Also starting at 2 and running until 4 pm, the community garden on Highway 540 will feature garden refreshments, activities, crafts, local music and tours of the space.

Later that evening, Gore Bay Theatre is running its new production, ‘Laughter is the Best Medicine’ at 7:30. Advance tickets are $20 and available by calling the municipal office at 705-282-2420. Cash-only ticket sales are available at the door for $22.

At 9:30 pm, there will be an outdoor screening of the movie ‘Back to the Future’ at the splash pad. A concession stand will be set up with all proceeds going to the Gore Bay recreation committee.

Saturday, July 27 is the big day of this event and things get underway bright and early with the Gore Bay Rotary Club pancake breakfast from 8:30 to 10:30 that morning. The cost for breakfast is $10 for adults and $5 for children aged 12 and under. Free face painting by Chantal is on offer from 10 am until 2 pm at the waterfront tent.

Starting at 11 am, a series of inflatable bounce attractions by It’s Not a Party Without Us will be set up for the younger ones until 4 pm. They will be bringing the Radical Rush Mega Obstacle Course, Balloon Typhoon, Surf the Wave Slip and Slide, Foam Pool Party and Candy Stand. Also starting at 11, beef on a bun and beverages will be served until 2 pm, while supplies last. The sandwiches go for $6 and pop or water is just $1, with all proceeds going to the Western Manitoulin Lions Club.

From 11:30 am until 1:30 pm, travelling magician Stefano Presenza will walk around the grounds and provide illusory delights. Right at noon, the dunk tank will open for business for attendees to test their aim and send willing victims for a swim. Three balls cost $2. Dunkees include Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Mike Mantha, Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne and Charles C. McLean Public School teacher Robyn Best.

The always-popular cardboard boat regatta, now in its eighth year, begins at 1 pm at the waterfront beach south of the main marina dock. Lifejackets are required and will not be provided. There are three categories: Youth, for those aged 12 and under, with more than one person allowed per boat; Family, for members of the same family which consists of one adult and at least one child aged 12 and under; and Open. Complete rules and pre-registration are available at the Gore Bay municipal office by calling 705-282-2420 or emailing scarr@GoreBay.ca. Those registered are asked to arrive by 12:40 pm and winning boats may be subject to inspection.

Starting at 1 pm, the Gore Bay and Gordon/Barrie Island fire departments will have their trucks on display and help to set up the swimming pool fishing event.

There will be a classic car show running from 1 to 5 pm and between 2 and 4 pm there will be hot dogs and beverages available.

Stefano Presenza returns with a ‘Vegas style’ magic stage show from 2:30 to 3:30 pm and then at 5, the Gore Bay Rotary Club’s annual fish fry runs until 7 pm. The dinner is $20 per person, or $10 for children aged 12 and under. 

From 8 pm until 1 am, the Harbour Days dance will bring out scores of people to show off their finest moves and sway to the music provided by Elijah and the Backburners. Admission is free and designated driver service is available.

Running throughout the weekend is a beer garden for the adults, which opens on Friday from 8 pm to 1 am and Saturday from noon to 7 pm at the waterfront tent, with all proceeds going to the Western Manitoulin Lions Club. Gore Bay band Missy and the Speed Wobbles will be providing live music at the Friday beer garden and both sessions have designated driver service available.

Also running throughout the weekend are water ski shows by Summer Water Sports in the harbour. This high-energy event will feature jumps, formation water-skiing and a bit of humour mixed in. Their shows take place throughout Saturday, at 11 am, 2 pm and 4 pm.

Everything wraps up on the morning of Sunday, July 28 with an ecumenical church service at 11 am at the waterfront tent. A potluck lunch will follow, everyone is welcome and the event takes place rain or shine.

More information about the event can be found by calling the Gore Bay municipal office at 705-282-2420 or by searching for the Gore Bay Harbour Days Facebook page.