BY JUDI KOSKI
The 27th annual Western Days Festival is a fun-filled, action-packed 10 days of family activities that feature 32 events in eight locations throughout Chelmsford. What makes it even more fun is many of the attractions are free.
This annual event attracts crowds of 15,000 to 20,000 people
from all over Ontario and Quebec. Some are from even further
away, as former Chelmsford residents return home to catch up on
the news and let the good times roll.
Western Days is organized and co-ordinated by the Chelmsford
Lions Club members and is assisted by countless volunteers,
community groups and sponsors.
Chairman Moe Armstrong explains that the festival is a major
fundraiser for the Chelmsford Lions Club and accomplishes two
goals: fostering community spirit and providing funds to assist
various groups and organizations within the community.
Donations to date top $478,719.
This year's calendar of events is quite spectacular. Friday,
June 16, kicks it up a notch in the Chelmsford arena with the
Mega Music Teen Video Dance with special guest appearance by
Canadian Idol Daryl Brunt.
The first weekend also features events in various locations
(check your brochure), including the Ken Jen Animal Stars &
Petting Zoo with animals from Treehouse Television, children's
live stage show, midway rides and carnival games, wagon and
pony rides, car show, dart tournament, Chemy Mudboggers and
Demolition Derby, charity barbecue, beer tent and indoor yard
Live music during the festival will be provided by The Pickups, Country Flashback, Country Plus, Country Blend, Possum and Les Compagnons.
The tribute concert on Friday, June 23, at the Chelmsford
Arena features The Eagles (performed by Hotel California) and
ZZ TOP (performed by Trio Grande). This is guaranteed to be a
sellout so tickets should be purchased in advance at Leroux
Auto Parts or the Northland Hotel.
The Saturday, June 24, parade around town is sure to be a
family hit with around 90 entrants. The parade begins at the
high school at 10 am and ends at the arena where live bands are
performing all day. Children can play games of chance and enjoy
craft making upstairs.
At 3 pm, Science North has an English presentation, with the
same being offered in French on Sunday. At the arena ballfield,
kids can jump, bounce and slide in the Giant Inflatable Park.
Charity barbeques will be running from 11 am to 5 pm in various
Don't miss the ever-popular Tribute to Hank Williams Sr., performed by local talent Roger French in the afternoon.
The evening finishes off with the Western Days Party in the
arena featuring Canadian country recording artist Larry Berrio
performing at 9 pm.
French Canadian Day festivities on Sunday, June 25, include a pancake breakfast, live dance, children's music concert, ATV/tractor drags and pulls, rodeo-style horse barrel racing, golf tournament, talent contest with celebrity judge Daryl Brunt, Journee Francophone featuring Marc Serre and Stillwell and the fabulous Souper a La Canadienne with a traditional French Canadian menu.
For more information, phone the Western Days Hotline (705) 855-2553 or visit the website at www.westerndays.ca .