Bringing communities together: 2011 Festival of the Lakes has ‘Western Roundup’ theme

CANADIAN LAKES — Rick Kempton shed tears of laughter during the Festival of the Lakes community parade last year.

Trying to get every little thing right for the first ever festival, Kempton and other organizers forgot one important detail — closing off traffic to Buchanan Road for the parade.

“The floats were fighting oncoming traffic,” Kempton said with a chuckle.

PARADE: A horse-drawn wagon prepares for the community parade during the 2010 Festival of the Lakes. This year’s festival kicks off on Friday, May 27 with a “Light up the Night” parade. (Pioneer file photo)

Organizers are making sure that traffic will be closed off to Buchanan Road during this year’s parade, which starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 28, west of the Country Corner Plaza.

The 2011 Festival of the Lakes will kickoff with a “Light up the Night” parade on Friday, May 27, also on Buchanan Road. The parade starts after sundown and will feature about 20 fire vehicles from Morton Township and other departments around the county. Various events and activities will highlight the festival throughout the weekend.

“We have good police and fire protection here in Canadian Lakes and it’s good for them to show off a bit,” Kempton said.

Other events scheduled for the weekend include a pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, under the tent at Country Corner Plaza, a farmers market from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at Tullymore, a rock wall at Ace Hardware, free wagon rides at Outback Lodge, live music under the tent at the Country Corner Plaza, sales at local businesses and more. Family activities at the festival will include craft booths, a bake sale, face painting, children’s talent contest, pie-eating contest, karaoke and more.

Country western band Stolen Horses will perform at 8 p.m. on Sunday in front of Gregory’s Grill under the tent. A western costume contest also will be judged under the tent on Sunday evening.

“The festival tries to bring the community together and bring other people into the area,” said organizer Sue Parker, of Outback Lodge. “There are a lot of people coming from outside the area. I’ve talked to people from Ohio and Indiana who are coming — they are people who have been here before and are looking for things to do on Memorial Day weekend.”

Parker expects attendance at this year’s festival to be double compared to last year. She expects about 500 people to attend.

“It’s a good time for people from the community to see other people, find out what’s going on and have some fun,” Parker said. “We have so much for every age to do.”

For more information about the festival, contact Parker at (231) 972-7255.

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Posted by Jonathan Eppley

Jonathan Eppley is news editor for the Pioneer. He designs and copy edits the Pioneer daily, and manages staff in the evening. Eppley joined the Pioneer staff in 2010. He can be reached at (231) 592-8357 or at jeppley@pioneergroup.com.

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