Snaking down the Trent from Hastings, our second Canada Day town, one comes to our 3rd Canada Day stop, the cultural center of East Central Ontario, Campbellford Ontario. Campbellford’s Westben Theater has an impressive schedule of world class musical and theater productions starting in May and extending through to August. And the Aron Theater Co-operative has a great set of movies and live theater year round. And with Frog’s Whiskers’s Ink, Kerrs Corner Books and the Campbellford Public Library, the printed word gets extra attention in town. Finally there is a robust set of artists and crafters in the area as can be seen among the Spirit of the Hills artistic group.
Now the good folks of Stirling Ontario [just 12 kilometers east of Campbellford on county road 8] will have to beg to differ, as their Stirling Festival Theatre puts on a wonderful set of programs year round. But on Canada Day, who should be fussing over culture???
After all Campbellford has the Great Toony.
And Campbellford had a great line up of Canada Day Events:
08:00AM – Rotary Pancake Breakfast
10:00AM – Teddy Bear Parade lead by Campbellford Polar Bears
10:15AM – Rumba for Kids
11:00 AM – Kids Entertainer Johnnie Robinson at the Gazebo
12:00 Noon – Singing of O Canada with Roberta Whalen
12:30PM – Serving free Canada Day cupcakes
01:00 PM – Gospel Singer Roxanne Whalen
06:00PM – Melodies at the Mill – Johnny Cash Tribute
Unfortunately this reviewer did not arrive until after 3:00PM. Nonetheless there was lots still going on along the River Park. A couple of Trent River boats just docked to catch the celebrations:
And across the Trent two more were gassing up –
Talking with some of the boaters, it turns out cruising the Trent and catching 1 or 2 Canada Day celebrations is a popular pastime in the Summer. And one can see why. The Trent takes boaters through some very pretty countryside. Already stops at Hastings and Campbellford have been highlighted and Petrborough by way of the Otonabee tributary of the Trent and the whole set of Bay of Quinte communities can be reached in a half a day [given minimal delays at the Trent-Sevryn locks].
And so late arrivals had lots to see and do at Campbellford. For the kids there were again AirCastles:
The colors and form of these castles of air and fun caught the eye in Campbellford
They also attracted their fair share of kids and parents:
One dad explained the dilemma. A water sprinkler, wading pool and even a trampoline could not match the attraction of the Air Castles for his youngsters. He had yet to figure out a solution. My brother in law commiserates.
Also going bigtime was the petting zoo which proved equally popular to the youngsters:
This party was amazed that the some of the critters like the pigs and the llama were not cantankerous.
But nearly half an hour of picture-taking and a discussion with the petting zoo keeper seem to substantiate the claim that pigs would have to fly and the llama shed its coat before either became unruly and who was I to argue. They appeared better behaved than the MPP who was … oops no political commentary allowed.
But riding a pony was allowed and still popular near the end of Canada Day:
So much so one could hear the little girls thinking out loud – “when is it going to be my turn”.
But the biggest delight this Canada Day was to discover Mr Jim Brethour of Campbellford and the Crow Valley Barnstormers with their model airplanes:
Canadian Military Trainer
Now these are not ordinary model airplanes but real flying remote controlled aircraft. The wings spans on some of these airplanes reached nearly three feet and some had huge engines bigger than I had ever seen.
The planes were on static display in one corner of the park.
I got a chance to talk to Jim about his airfield full of radio-controlled airplanes. It turns out he was out flying near Rawdon many times during the Summer months. Just give him a call at 705-653-3373 and find out when the next flying event is on tap. You can just watch, bring your own or get instructions on how to handle an airplane in the skies above the Northumberland Hills.
Not bad for a Canada Day outing – as this youngster was pleased as can be at his discoveries. In the back of my mind, I kept repeating the airy phrase “When is it going to be my turn” on this glorious Canada Day.