Community festival in full swing

I am sitting at the Sorting Gap Marina shortly after 6 a.m. The fishermen are launching their boats being greeted by Doug Cain and Paul Morrison.
For 12 years, part of the morning routine has had Doug on the waterfront talking to the anglers.
Doug has a great memory for faces and names. And the personal greeting that he makes is one of the many traditions of the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship.
Every year we praise the volunteers for the work that they commit to community events and festivals across Rainy River District. Many perform tasks that most of us would not want to do.
This year, volunteers began putting the site together two weeks before the first tournament event had even begun. Ron Erb and his crew put up the flags and bass signs around the marina.
Later that week, he painted the parking lines in Abitibi-Consolidated’s wood yard for the fishermen to park their trucks and trailers. The lines in the public parking lot also were painted.
Anglers have been arriving in Fort Frances since the first of July. Those in Fort Frances who left the dock last Thursday morning were surprised at how quickly the new Rainy River Future Development Corp.’s tent went up.
By the time the screens were tested Saturday afternoon, everyone was praising the tent’s sun-blocking roof.
Other organizations will enjoy the benefit of this new tent for many years to come.
Then on Sunday afternoon, the army of volunteers began showing up and registering. The “Heroes of Folk” were into their first concert set while parents anxiously awaited the return of their children from the annual “Kid Pro” tournament that had started early that morning.
Volunteers were madly rushing about to complete the last of the electrical and water hook-ups. Others were laying the matting along the side of the tent.
Still others had been cooking hamburgers for the volunteers who had arrived shortly after six a.m. on Sunday to complete the tasks.
On Sunday night, teenagers of the district filled the tent and danced the night away to the music during the MuchMusic video dance party.
The tournament and community festival is in full swing.

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