Rivers Day celebration a first here

This Sunday, local residents are invited to celebrate the landmark for which the district is named: Rainy River.
An afternoon full of events has been planned for families to come and spend the day on the banks of the river to celebrate Canadian Rivers Day, the first such event in Fort Frances.
Activities begin at noon at the Sorting Gap Marina and Nelson Street Park, where people can take rides in the big voyageur canoe or on a pontoon boat.
Teams of four also are invited to sign up for the Rainy River Canoe Challenge.
“It’s meant to be an easy, fun activity,” noted local museum curator Pam Hawley, one of the event’s co-organizers.
While she has not had a great deal of response to the challenge, Hawley noted she will be at the Clover Valley Farmers’ Market tomorrow (Saturday) to recruit teams and to promote the event.
Foursomes also can sign up on Sunday.
The challenge will go from the beach near the “Hallett” to the Sorting Gap launch, where teams then will have to portage the short distance to the Nelson Street Park.
Scavenger hunts will be organized so that both adults and children can participate, and children also can enjoy doing arts and crafts activities.
Rodney Brown will perform at 2 p.m. and Neil Stewart will present some interactive theatre called “The Water Circus.”
“Rumour has it a mermaid might appear,” Hawley hinted.
The Hallett also will be open for tours on Sunday, and the United Native Friendship Centre youth drummers will perform.
Crime Stoppers will be on hand to provide a barbecue, as well as information on boating safety.
Hawley noted while all activities are free, she will gratefully accept any donations to the museum’s renovation project. So far, $32,000 of the $75,000 goal has been raised.
Any volunteers available to help set up are invited to come to the Sorting Gap Marina at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Back in 2002, then Heritage minister Sheila Copps, declared the second Sunday of June to be celebrated henceforth as Canadian Rivers Day.
Hawley said holding this event is an opportunity to highlight the town’s La Verendrye Parkway (Front Street).
“It’s a chance to look at some of the potential that’s there,” she said. “I hope it can be the first year of an annual event.”
In case of rain, activities will be held at the Fort Frances Museum.

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