‘Homecoming Week’ will feature lots to do

Anyone having to find something to do June 26-July 1, throw your day planner away—the town’s centennial celebration, Business Improvement Area, and several other groups and committees have got everything lined up for “Homecoming Week.”
And like the name of the week indicates, it’s looking to be one big get-together for friends and family, centennial co-ordinator Marla Simpson said.
“We’ve had a lot of responses from people who will be having their friends and family down for that time,” she remarked. “And we’ve had a lot of calls asking for schedules of events.”
While the centennial committee has been responsible for much of the organizing of the summer events (something usually done by the local Chamber of Commerce, BIA, and the Fun in the Sun committee), these groups—as well as the Rainy Lake Multicultural Association, Legion Br. #29, OPP, Fort Frances Public Library, and more—also will be contributing to the celebration.
Downtown Fort Frances will be bustling with activity on Thursday, June 26 as BIA’s annual “Mall Day” will feature sidewalk sales and much more. At 10 a.m. at the Fort Frances Museum, author Neil McQuarrie will launch his new book, “Fort Frances—A Story of a Town and Its People.”
Live entertainment will run from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Fort Frances Museum courtyard while local restaurants and caterers will be serving up food.
Then from 5-8 p.m., the Great Centennial Airport Extravaganza will take place at the Fort Frances Airport, where people can check out radio-controlled airplanes, the OPP “Golden Helmets,” a car rally, and refreshments.
Meanwhile, “tour de Fort” presents the Rainy Lake Highlanders at 6 p.m. under the big tent at Pither’s Point Park, followed by Rodney Brown and the Northern Roots Band at 7:30.
On Friday, June 27, a war brides plaque will be unveiled at 10:30 a.m. at the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau (old CN station). People then can stay for a tea, or leave for a tour to the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre (bring a brown bag lunch).
To register for the tour, call the Fort Frances Museum (274-7891).
St. John’s Anglican Church also will host its annual fish and chip luncheon on the Friday, while a pie and dessert sale will take place from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Knox United Church.
Then the Canadian Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” will take place at Pither’s Point, starting at 7 p.m. with the “survivors’ lap” and opening ceremonies.
This will go on all night, and will include entertainment such a karate demonstration (8 p.m.), a local dance group (8:30 p.m.), native dancers (9 p.m.), the Rainy Lake Highlanders (9:30 p.m.), local rock band “Crisis” (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), and a DJ spinning tunes from 2-7 a.m.
On Saturday, June 28, things will kick-off at 11 a.m. with the annual Fun in the Sun mini-Queen pageant, sponsored by Wood’s Sewing Machines, at the Memorial Sports Centre.
This will be followed by opening ceremonies for “Culturama,” hosted by the Rainy Lake Multicultural Association, at noon. This annual event features entertainment with an international flavour until 10 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Calder family mix ’n mingle will start at 7 p.m. on June 28 at the Memorial Sports Centre. Contact Janice Tucker (274-2765) for more info.
And a ’50s sock hop is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Little Beaver Snow Park (off McIrvine Road near the town’s landfill site). For more info, contact Gene Andrusco at 1-909-880-5705.
The Calder Clan fun golf tourney will start at 7 a.m. on Sunday, June 29 out at Kitchen Creek Golf Course. To register, contact a family member or call the Sunset Country Métis at 275-1386.
An interdenominational church service and jamboree will take place at 10 a.m. under the big tent at Pither’s Point Park. This will be followed by a complimentary centennial pancake breakfast from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., sponsored by Union Gas and served up by town employees.
The Calder Clan horseshoe tourney will take place at 12:30 p.m. at Pither’s Point. Then, the family will hold a potluck picnic from 1:30-2:30, followed by a plaque dedication ceremony at 3 p.m.
Call Janice Tucker (274-2765), Roz Calder (274-0885), or Dorothy Huitikka (482-2191) for more details.
Also on Sunday, June 29 at 1 p.m., the Great Centennial Golf Tournament will take place at Kitchen Creek Golf Course. Register before June 16 at the Fort Frances Museum (274-7891).
Entry fee is $75 per person, with participants to be divided up into teams of four.
Meanwhile, a home, garden, and studio tour will take off from the museum on June 29 between 2-4 p.m. Contact the museum for more info (274-7891).
The Fun in the Sun queen entertainment night and crowning is slated to take place June 29 at 8 p.m. at the Memorial Sports Centre. That will be followed by a Much Music Video Dance Party until midnight.
On Monday, June 30, the Fort Frances Public Library’s popular Teddy Bear Picnic is slated from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Pither’s Point Park. Children’s entertainer Al Simmons will be performing there at noon under the big tent.
Simmons will stage a second performance at 4 p.m.
At 1 p.m., a family festival begins at Pither’s Point, with canoe rides, face-painting, games, inflatables, lip sync and karaoke contests, and much more.
The motorcycle-riding OPP “Golden Helmets” then will be at the Memorial Sports Centre at 6:30 p.m. for another performance.
And Monday will end with a Much Music “Retro Boogie Social” from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. at the Memorial Sports Centre (age of majority required).
Finally, Canada Day will kick off with a pancake breakfast, hosted by the Legion, from 7-9:30 a.m. at Pither’s Point Park.
This will be followed by the opening of the La Verendrye Parkway at 10 a.m. at the Sorting Gap Marina, which also will include the unveiling of the Rainy Lake mermaid statue and a dedication of a bench donor plaque.
The annual Canada Day parade will start at 11 a.m., likely from the Shevlin wood yard, then proceeding down Front Street to Victoria Avenue, then back to Scott Street and to the wood yard.
To enter a float or volunteer at the parade, call Dawn Booth at 274-5773.
Then the fun moves to Pither’s Point Park with an unveiling of the new big chair at 1 p.m., followed by a day of activities like face-painting, inflatables, games, hair-braiding, and live entertainment under the big tent.
And a 50/50 Bingo will run from 1-6 p.m. under the big tent.
Dragon boats demonstrations will be going throughout the afternoon, and bathtub races also are expected to take place. Call Booth for more details about the latter.
Scheer’s Lumberjack Shows, sponsored by Abitibi-Consolidated, are scheduled for 2, 4, and 6 p.m. at Pither’s Point. Lumberjacks will compete in log-rolling, hot-sawing, cross-cutting, chopping, chainsaw-cutting and jousting.
And what would July 1 be without fireworks? These will take place at 10 p.m. (weather permitting) at the La Verendrye Parkway.
For more details, such as cost of admission and exact start times for some of the events, keep your eyes peeled for advertisements in future issues of the Fort Frances Times and Daily Bulletin.