Scott Street birthday bash shaping up

Scott Street will be the place to be this Saturday (June 25) as the local Business Improvement Association has lined up activities to celebrate the downtown core’s 100th birthday.
“It’s going to be huge,” said BIA chair Russ Ling, adding there will be no shortage of things for people to do, see, or hear during the all-day birthday bash.
There will be a “Junk in Your Trunk” rummage sale from 8-10 a.m. at the east end of the 200 block.
Ling noted there also will be four 10’x20’ canopies for events to take place under, as well as a stage on the 200 block for entertainment to take place on.
From 9-11 a.m., there will be a “Fun in the Sun” Bingo underneath the canopies while from 10:30-11 a.m., drummers and dancers from the United Native Friendship Centre will take to the stage.
The FITS Mini-Queen contest will take place on that same stage from 11-11:45 a.m. while an antique car round-up will be set up in the parking lot at Gagné Pharmacy and the Northwestern Health Unit from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The special 100th birthday ceremony will get underway at noon, with some music by the Fort Frances Highlanders and a birthday cake-cutting.
Students from Dancemakers will take to the stage from 12:30 a.m.-1 p.m., followed by square dancers from 1-1:30 p.m.
Live music, as well as a “Name That Tune” contest, will take place there for the rest of the day.
There also will be sidewalk sales, inflatables for the kids to enjoy, new cars and boats on display, and kids activities at the Fort Frances Museum, as well as food for sale.
The celebration will be rounded out with horse and carriage rides ($2 each), a fish fry by Sunset Country Métis from 5-7 p.m., activities with the “Fun in the Sun” queen pageant contestants, and Crime Stoppers volunteers selling tickets for the “Great Rubber Duckie Race,.”
Skateboarders also will be raising funds for the Kiwanis skate park project on Saturday. They’ll have a skateboarding demo and a dunk tank set up, and will be selling tickets for a 60/40 draw to be made later that day.
BIA co-ordinator Patti Anderson said the idea for Scott Street’s birthday can be traced back to June 16, 1905 when the previous centre of commerce in town—on Front Street—burned to the ground.
Rumoured to have been started by a lantern that had tipped over at a hardware store, the fire quickly spread to nearby buildings and ultimately caused $20,000 in damage.
(Ironically, a newly-purchased steam-operated fire engine sat idle on a railway flat car as the business district burned. A disagreement between town council and the manufacturer was later resolved and the town accepted the fire engine).
After the fire, Scott Street was developed as the new “Main Street” because the high prices being asked for Front Street property led many businesses to rebuild in this location.
In the 100 years since, Scott Street has evolved into a centre for retail and services for the whole community.

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