Southeast Lions Club’s Summerfest a smash hit

The smash-up derby is the highlight of every Summerfest weekend.

MANITOWANING—The dust has settled from the last collision in the smash-up derby at the Manitowaning Fairgrounds and the children have gone home topped up with cotton candy as the Southeast Manitoulin Lions Summerfest 2016 draws to a close and although its been said before, a good time was definitely had by all.

“It was a pretty good day,” summed up acting Lion President Dorothy Chapman. “There was more stuff and things went pretty smoothly. Our volunteers do a wonderful job, without them we would be nowhere pretty fast.”

A few last minute adjustments before the bike races begin.
A few last minute adjustments before the bike races begin.

The weekend started out with the Jim Case Memorial 3-Pitch Ball Tournament and some spirited ball hockey on Friday, letting folks build up a thirst for the country music show put on by the Crooked Hookers.

Saturday a hearty pancake breakfast fueled everyone up for the parade, which started a little earlier than usual at 10:30, but was a big hit with young and old alike. Following the parade, the official opening took place at the arena pavilion, with Jean McCauley leading folks off with a hearty rendition of O Canada. As the last strains were barely faded, the kids’ games got into full swing, while the bike races hurtled around the oval.

The day was capped by the traditional dance, which was well attended. “I don’t know the exact numbers yet, but some people were telling me that the numbers were up,” said Ms. Chapman. “I was selling bar tickets and I can tell you that was going pretty well. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.”

The Summerfest smash-up derby on Sunday afternoon once again attracted a huge crowd of spectators to watch 20 drivers battle for smash-up supremacy in five heats.

The new addition of bouncy castles were a Summerfest hit.
The new addition of bouncy castles were a Summerfest hit.

The first heat of Kevin Parkinson, Sammy Trimmer, Mike Monahan and Kelli Lefebvre was won by first-timer Mr. Trimmer.

In heat two, Jeremiah Pulsifer, Zack Burnett, Jonathan St. George and Derrick Leeson took to the fairgrounds, with Mr. Pulsifier taking the heat.

Crowd favourite Cody MacKenzie, in his 10th anniversary derby car, took heat three over worthy adversaries Jack Parkinson, Rick Armstrong and David Tuerk.

In heat four, Brad Stapleton, Mike Deforge, Jeff Size and Tyler Jewell put on a good show for the crowd, with Mr. Stapleton winning his heat.

In the final heat of the day, Cole Chisholm, Cole Corbiere, James Millette and Nat Williams battled it out, but Mr. Chisholm, representing Highway 6 Service Centre, was the last man standing, advancing to the finals.

The finals saw Mr. Trimmer, Mr. MacKenzie and Mr. Stapleton enter the ring to see who won the cash prize and bragging rights of winning one of Manitoulin’s most beloved events. In the end it was down to Mr. Trimmer and Mr. MacKenzie, with the latter willing his car to move at the bitter end. After one final hit, Manitowaning’s Mr. Trimmer won the derby, his first ever attempt in the smash-up.

The parade just wouldn’t be the same without an entry from the Assiginack  Horticultural Society.
The parade just wouldn’t be the same without an entry from the Assiginack
Horticultural Society.

Finally, the Jim Case Memorial 3-Pitch Ball Tournament winners were the Ice Cold Pitchers made up of teammates Zane Arnold, Jeremy Cooper, Wes Trimmer, Garrett Mellan, Carter Dunlop, Ethan Ostland, Macie Ostland, coach Mark Ostland, Natasha Clarke, Tess Doane, Brittany Allen, Erica Bond, Ashley Ostland and coach Stacie Ostland. The team lost their first two games only to come back and beat out No Expectations for the top prize.

Perennial Lion ambassador George Pennie may be suffering some health issues of late, but there is no holding a good Lion down, as the veteran volunteer piloted a float through the parade, stopped by the dance for a while and even watched the smash-up derby from the comfort of his truck.

“I told George he had one job,” laughed Ms. Chapman. “Show up and talk.” It was an instruction the gregarious Lion could not refuse.

Sammy Trimmer, a first time smash-up derby entrant, took the top prize on Sunday afternoon over formidable rival Cody MacKenzie.
Sammy Trimmer, a first time smash-up derby entrant, took the top prize on Sunday afternoon over formidable rival Cody MacKenzie.

“We do need more members,” noted Ms. Chapman. “There are none of us getting any younger and our numbers are down a bit. But it was a good weekend and there were at least three people who said they were interested in joining.”

Many hands make light work, it is said, and community events such as Summerfest help fuel the good works done by the Lions Club.