Beaver Valley May Days – Rising costs derail popular train rides

The Beaver Valley’s big event of the year is chugging along this weekend even without one of the most popular attractions.

The Beaver Valley’s big event of the year is chugging along this weekend even without one of the most popular attractions.

Beaver Valley May Days runs from today to Sunday, featuring an array of festivities like fireworks, a slow-pitch tournament and the Antenna Trail hike but sadly no train ride.

The journey out to Beaver Falls has been cancelled this year due to an increase in insurance costs that are about “four times” the amount that has been paid in the past, according to Juris Harlamovs,  a member of the Beaver Valley May Days Society.

But this won’t be the last time residents will be welcomed aboard, he said, hoping to bring back the attraction that has been made possible for at least 10 years now thanks to Nelson & Fort Sheppard Railway Company and ATCO Wood Products.

For some the ride was a trip down memory lane and for others it was a thrilling first-time experience. The 35-minute tour left the pole yard lane downtown and brought passengers on a journey to the trestle at Beaver Falls, where the train would stop for five minutes for the spectacular view.

Though it will be missed this year, Harlamovs assures the energy throughout town should be the same with “people and the sense of community” at the forefront.

Harlamovs hasn’t learned to say “no” yet; he jokes about his five years spent on the committee.

“Having said that a special thank you should go to David and Gail Chartres who stepped down last year and did all the hard work in previous years” he said, along with all the other volunteers, his wife Madeleine, Vickie Fitzpatrick and Fruitvale Mayor Patricia Cecchini “who have been doing the heavy lifting.”

The history of the family fun weekend dates back to 1911 when it was originally held on May 24, Queen Victoria’s birthday.

For a full schedule of events, visit

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