Rainy Lake Square concert series set to debut tomorrow

Duane Hicks

While the Rainy Lake Square likely won’t be open until late September or early October, residents soon will get a taste of the type of cultural programming that will be a feature of the square in future.
The Rainy Lake 150 Series, made possible thanks to Tbaytel and “Ontario150,” kicks off with a street party tomorrow (Aug. 31) at 6 p.m. with The Orville Councillor Band.
The local country rock band will take the stage outside the Fort Frances Museum.
“It’s our dry run night so we’ll see how it goes,” said Rainy River Future Development Corp. consultant Tannis Drysdale.
“We invite everyone to come down and see how it goes,” she added, noting those attending must bring their own lawn chairs.
The concert will be free–just like all of the others to follow in the series.
The 200 block of Scott Street will be closed off for this concert and future ones, so Drysdale advised anyone parking on that block to move their vehicle before 4 p.m. or they’ll be blocked in.
“It’s a Thursday, so any of the ‘Market Thursday’ vendors or folks that want to show up are welcome to join us down there,” said Drysdale, noting set-up will take place from 4-6 p.m.
“So if there’s any service clubs that want to sell popcorn or anything like that, they’re welcome to join us,” she added.
“The concert will be wrapped up by 8 p.m. All of them will be.”
The next concert in the Thursday evening series will feature upbeat, roots music artist Little Miss Higgins on Sept. 14.
Higgins plays old-time country blues sprinkled with a little jazz and maybe a hint of folk.
Her show will be followed by “Northern Artists’ Night” on Sept. 21, which will showcase various regional artists (the lineup currently is being finalized).
Both of these concerts likely will be staged in the museum courtyard, as well.
Then on Sept. 28, Daylin James will bring his always-popular “Elvis Show” to downtown Fort Frances.
Drysdale said she’s hopeful the Rainy Lake Square will accessible to the public in time for that show.
James, who has been very popular here in the past, will be performing with a full band, she added.
“It’s going to be a real fun evening for everyone,” Drysdale enthused.
There’s little doubt, however, that the Rainy Lake Square–and its stage–will be ready by Oct. 5 for its grand-opening celebration.
While the start time will be 6 p.m. for each concert in the Rainy Lake 150 Series, the grand-opening activities will start in the early afternoon.
More details will be unveiled closer to the date, but the agenda will include a ribbon-cutting, the presentation of “Canada 150” pins to local volunteers, and other activities.
The grand-opening will culminate with a concert at 6 p.m. by Pop Vegas–a high-energy top 40 cover band.
“It will be something for all ages; something we can all enjoy,” Drysdale pledged.
The Rainy Lake 150 Series not only is intended to celebrate the opening of the Rainy Lake Square, but to prime the public for future programming there.
Drysdale noted another concert series will be held next spring and summer, as well as other activities like family movie nights.
Looking ahead to the fall, Drysdale said the plan is to hold some vendor markets, and possibly other programming, at the Rainy Lake Square in early October before it gets too cold.
Any questions about being a market vendor or on anything else related to the Rainy Lake Square programming?
Call 274-9621, e-mail ecdev@fortfrances.ca, or message “Rainy Lake Square” on Facebook.

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