Nobody is quite sure how long Montrose Family Fun Days have been around, but it has been at least 60 years.
Even with a six-decade tradition, there are new events and activities this year for Montrose residents and visitors to enjoy on Saturday.
Barb Leavitt is on the Family Fun Days organizing committee, and says this year, her pet project is the Cake Walk.
The walk hasn’t been seen at the weekend event for a few years now, but Leavitt was determined to bring it back.
“When I moved (to Montrose) in 1989, there was always a Cake Walk (at Family Fun Days),” she said. “Over the years, there have been smaller committees and things like that, but this year, I immediately said I was bringing it back. It was a great event and it is great for the kids, too.”
For those that are curious, a Cake Walk is like a game of musical chairs. There is a stash of cakes behind the scenes, ready and waiting to be eaten by the winners. To start, players will pay a small amount to join the game and each chair or space is numbered. The music plays, and when it stops, walkers have to grab a chair. Organizers then draw a random number, and the person on the chair with that number walks away with a cake to munch on.
The game isn’t just about eating cake. The proceeds from the Cake Walk, like other events at the Montrose festivities, will be going to a cause near to the hearts of village residents.
“The money from the walk is going to go to to the Battered Women’s Society in memory of Aysia Walsh (whose family live in Montrose),” said Leavitt. “We always try to keep the money local. In the past, we have given the proceeds (of other events) to a local family whose daughter had a brain tumour. Last year, it went to the Beaver Valley Nursery School. We want to keep it in Montrose.”
It isn’t just cakes that are new to this year’s Family Fun Days schedule. Organizers are putting together a dog show for owners and their canine pals to show of costumes, tricks and overall cuteness.
“(Our committee member) is making ribbons that look like the real thing,” said Leavitt. “I am really looking forward to the costume contest, so bring your dog to compete.”
Along with some new, and renewed, games and activities, Family Fun Day will have tried, tested and true attractions for visitors.
“We are going to have horse drawn wagon rides, last year was the first year we did the watermelon eating contest, and we will be doing that again this year,” said Leavitt, adding that like every year, the parade will be winding its way through the village. “Of course, we have our pancake breakfast, the steak dinner, our beer gardens (and much more).”
Before Family Fun Days officially begins on Saturday, village residents and visitors will be gathering at the Montrose Community Hall on Thursday evening to kick off the festivities and honour their newly selected 2015 Montrose Community Service Award recipient, Debbie Sedgwick.
The village is hosting a wine and cheese to reflect on the time and effort Sedgwick has put into making Montrose a better place to live.
Sedgwick has lived in the village for nearly 40 years, raising a family in the area. She has dedicated her time to many different local and regional efforts, holding a seat on the Community Impact Management Committee for the Waneta Dam Expansion project, acting as the secretary/treasurer of the Montrose Comprehensive Community Education and Resource Centre, sitting on the Montrose Recreation Commission, is a member of the Montrose Youth Action Team Society and many more groups and organizations.
Bryan Teasdale, chief administrative officer for the village, says Sedgwick’s efforts have not gone unnoticed.
“Montrose council would like to acknowledge their appreciation of (Sedgwick’s) efforts within our community over the past four decades,” he said about the ceremony and gathering.
To attend the Volunteer Appreciation Wine and Cheese event on Thursday evening, contact the village office to RSVP.
The main event, Family Fun Days, starts bright and early on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with the annual pancake breakfast at the Montrose Community Hall.