Tour de Barrie Island celebrates milestone anniversary

Some of the participants in the 30th annual ‘Tour de Barrie Island-In Search of the Sandhill Crane’ event held this past Saturday gather for a photo.

BARRIE ISLAND – It is a long time tradition on Manitoulin Island, held annually on the Civic Holiday in August.

“This is the 30th year we have held this event,” stated organizer Carolyn Lane-Rock, at the start of the “Tour de Barrie Island: In Search of the Sandhill Crane” event, held last Saturday. Local residents as well as visitors to Manitoulin from around Ontario and the US usually take part (although due to COVID-19 there were no participants from the US this year). One of this year’s participants travelled from Burlington, Ontario to take part.

“We have had some wonderful times over the years,” said Ms. Lane-Rock. “We started off with friends who wanted to come to the Island and take part, then more family members wanted to participate and then basically the community has taken over.” 

Ms. Lane-Rock noted that she and her sister Gloria, “attended a jazz festival in Montreal years ago. It was after a parade that they attended that they got the idea of making a large Sandhill crane using a javex bottle, and holding an event like the Tour de Barrie Island. The original Tour de Barrie Island held in 1991 included 20 bicyclists, with three Sandhill cranes sighted, and a total of 29 people on hand for the dinner afterward.

There was no dinner after this year’s event, but everyone gathered for dessert Saturday evening. 

Despite several attempts the Recorder was not able to get a final count on how many participated, and how many Sandhill cranes were sighted prior to this week’s press deadline.