Annual Family Day called off on eve of 75th anniversary

“We usually do a lot at the hall and that won’t be ready until July 6,” Vince Morelli, village CAO

It has been a tradition in the Village of Warfield since 1939, originally called Warfield Sports Day, but now apparently without an official title more often referred to as Warfield Family Day and there is no evidence the community festival has ever been cancelled.

But now, due to lack of an indoor venue with the Warfield Hall under renovation, Warfield’s annual celebration, usually held near this time every year, is possibly going to be cancelled.

“We usually do a lot at the hall and that won’t be ready until July 6,” said Vince Morelli, village chief administrative officer.

“It’s usually been held at the end of May or early June because by July you have a lot of people on vacation and you wouldn’t get the turnout.”

The $620,000 renovation and expansion of the hall takes the village’s central meeting point out of play in a community that has experienced turmoil recently over the question of the recreational and cultural activities available to its residents.

“We’ll maybe do something a little bigger July 1 at the pool,” said Morelli.

“The pool is ready to begin filling, we just have to wait for the new paint to set for a week so we don’t run into the issues we saw last  year.”

According to the recollection of long-time Warfield resident, Art Bickerton, on the village’s website, not even the outbreak of the Second World War in Europe affected the beginnings of the community celebration.

The first Warfield Sports Day was held May 24, 1939 on a budget of $37.50 and, like many small town parties of the time, featured races and sports events for the residents to compete against each other for prizes of 15 cents for a first place win, 10 cents for second, and 5 cents for third.

The website’s historical memoir on Sports Day attributes the growth and participation of the annual event as the impetus in the development of much of the village’s recreational infrastructure including playgrounds, outdoor skating rinks, tennis courts, and… the Warfield Hall.

Staff was unaware that this year’s event would have been the 75-year anniversary until notified by the Trail Times reporter in a phone call.

“I did not know that,” Morelli said.  “The recreation group meets next Tuesday, I’m sure they’ll be doing something.”