Campbellfords Waterfront Festival

As promised, Campbellford put on a great Waterfront Festival- where fun was to be found for kids of all ages.
First, the weather was quite fine – no small blessing in this summer of great weather variability and a great downpour one day later. Bright sun abounded but there were  clouds and wind enough to allow for summer frolics without discomfort. And there were summer frolics to be found all over the Riverside Park.


One of the clever ideas at the festival was to have a battery of traditional kids-of-all-ages games  which proved successful at the Warkworth Canada Day celebrations earlier in the Summer. Kids of nearly all ages were participating [sorry, Ann Marie, my back and mind were out of whack] in the many types of races.

Like at Warkworth the 3-legged race turned out to be very close. The whole trick in the 3-legged race is to start with the tied legs – and then stride to match your partner. This is  a good political exercise.

However a slipped knot may have helped the near leading duo on the left. There were also Shoe Toss and Retrieve, Monkey on my Back, Big Sack, and  Sponge Toss among the other colorful competitions  to be had. And the kids kept coming back  – perhaps the candied prizes  for the win-place-and-show had more of an effect than anticipated.

Also starting early was the Rock-Scissors-Paper Competition . And it was here that this reviewer enjoyed the action
immensely with some very entertaining side chuckles. First there was quite a variation in the hands showing Rock  Paper Scissors. This party is used to Rock = fist; Paper = flat, level hand; and Scissors = two fingers in V formation.  What was on display was Paper folded and/or flying  in the wind; Rock as fierce talons or crushed scissors and Scissors as one and two barreled guns with  with the barrels pointing in crooked and willy-nilly fashion.

One little girl in a yellow shirt had the most varying and entertaining  Rock Paper Scissors creations to be seen.
One had to chuckle  because a new RPS hand species emerged each time she rock-paper-scissored. At first one suspected she had never played the game before and so what appeared was what was seen and remembered from before.  But the lass continued to win – so maybe there was method to her RPS hand madness.

What was really fun to watch throughout the day was the Beach Volleyball competition.
The games were fairly close and the action at the net was pretty intense at times. Having seen the pickup games at Cobourg Beach and up Brighton way, lopsided matches were expected but actually few and far between. And  the action at dusk when the semifinals and finals were on – these were very close, well played  and entertaining. Clearly volleyball is popular in the schools and beaches  of Northumberland Hills.

Water Action Events

Now the Waterfront Festival is known and notorious for its Trent River Hijinks and the Belly Flop Competition is high up there in the Hijinks rankings . Unfortunately, your photographer had the bright idea that covering the bellyflop splashes from across the river would add to the perspective:
Even using a zoom lens did not help. Can you find the belly flopper in the picture?

Standard Canoe Races

In contrast coverage of the standard canoe races was from the right side of the Trent as seen below:
Now canoeing in Ontario, especially outside the big cities, is a skill and activity enjoyed by many. But the Trent this day had some strange currents playing just below the surface and so canoes that approached the yellow buoy marker too closely had some crosstow surprises to contend with.  Also it did not help that some crews did not know the stern J-stroke. Also getting their strokes in matched tempo was not easy given the subtle Trent undercurrents and the blustery winds. Suffice it to say, the canoe races were close and exciting.

Inner Tube Races

Inner Tube races are lots of fun.It is like have a swimming race with a inner tube that keeps you too far afloat.
But now you see the problem. Not only do racers have to contend with the inner tube but also a bulky life jacket and a cloth tie-on that further slows the inner-tuber down. This is seriously wet work. Fortunately the temperature of the Trent was not too warm and no too chill despite   June’s heat wave and the recent rains. Nonetheless, the racers were certainly too pooped to pop at races end.

The DIY Cardboard Canoe Races

The intrigue of the DIY-Do-It-Yourself Cardboard Canoe races is a)the designing and crafting of the cardboard canoes on the day of the races; b)the designs and decorations that will be applied ,  c)the question off whether the cardboard craft will actually float[and long enough to get to the finish line], and d)if you thought navigating well built canoes was tough, come on down and watch the DIY Cardboard Canoes in action.

First checkout some of the canoe designers and their craft.
Now I don’t want to say some of the cardboard canoe craft looked like coffins … but

However, all the teams actually put some serious design thoughts into the creation of their craft.
By the way, the kit was standard for all competitors and the instructions were minimal. And as you can see above the competitors were proud of their designs. Each had a winning craft. Now for some some results.

The Cardboard  Crafted Canoe races were the penultimate water event at the the Waterfront Festival.
And the first race proved all 4 DIY Canoes to be  seaworthy. However, navigation was a problem. Nobody displayed super canoeing skills; but clearly the winner was steady as she went or least worst depending on your point of view.

Now the second race was definitely more nautically adventurous. 


Right off the pier, one of the craft sank as the canoeist got in. In a few moments, a second craft proved to be less than seaworthy and it  too  capsized at the launching pier. Otherwise the race was uneventful until a third cardboard craft   took on too much water and sank just a few feet from home.  Yikes.

Taking its cue from the second race ….. the third race proved equally adventuresome.
The problem – the craft were too narrow and tiltingly unstable. The first did not get off the pier tumbling over twice. The second, ejected its passenger. And so confronted with the a boat hard to get back into – our intrepid  sailor had real pluck and just swam the boat around the course.

Here is a view of the leftovers:
So you would think the DIY Canoe sailing would be done for the day. Not so!

The Carboard Canoe Demolition Derby

the idea for the Cardboard Craft Demolition Derby may have been picked up from the events of the same name at the nearby Brighton Speedway. Just have all the remaining  “seaworthy” craft in a final race around the marker buoy for fame, fortune and glory. And that is what happened for 6 still seaworthy cardboard craft.
Readers can be assured that all 6 craft were floating at the outset of the race. However, as can be seen from the photo above only two canoes had sailors aboard by the time the marker buoy was reached. Clearly keeping your craft upright and sailing was the key to victory as seen in the 3rd image lower left. And the stragglers had to swim ashore.

The Carboard Canoe races were folowed by the Ducky Derby where scores of rubber ducky were tossed off the Campbellford brige and the first to drift down river and cross the marker bouy. That was Derby Duck no 132 earning x Christianson and Anita Kruger a $100 Canadian Tire Gift certificate each.

The Waterfront Fireworks Show

It looked like the Beach Volleyball Tournament was going to last up to the fireworks show. But fortunately Team Repop2 came out on top and so about 2 hours and a bit later the fireworks show could go on. And what a show:
The show started with a light and music display on the northshore. then the fire works kicked in spectacular fashion. The fireworks built up to a creascendo of consecutive burts as sen in the last panel.

What made the fireworks display so effective was the interplay with music and the reflection of the bursts on the Tent river water. For more than fifty minutes festival goers were ohhing and ahhing to the show. The big bursts at the end lit up the Firehouse in an eerie reflection capping off a fun and  wonder-filled Waterfront Festival.