| Aug 10, 2006

Feature Article - August 10, 2006

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Feature Article - August 10, 2006

Verona Festival building on ten years of success

by Jeff Green

Last year’s 10th anniversary of the Verona Festival was a high water mark for the annual celebration of community life, featuring record-setting attendance and giving organizers and participants a feeling that the festival had really come into its own.

This year’s festival will introduce some new events and different performers, at the same time keeping up the traditions it has been built upon.


One new event is a pet show, which will take place between 11am and 1pm on Saturday. It will be hosted by Furry Friends, Verona ’s own pet store. The show will be an opportunity for pet lovers to show off their animals. There are three categories of competition in the show: the cutest pet, the best dressed pet (for those who bring their animal in costume), and the best pet trick. There is a #2 entry fee to the show, and there will be prizes for all. Although it is new, the pet show harkens back to the early years of the festival, when a pet parade took place. Dogs and cats, even the occasional chickens paraded around the festival grounds in costume during several of the early Verona Festivals. The pet parade was replaced after a couple of years with a full-fledged parade which marks the start of the festival on Friday evening at 7:00 pm. On Friday, night, popular children’s performers Shari and Jerry will entertain, followed by one of the most accomplished country bands around, Red Rose Express with Sawn McCullough.

Saturday is always a busy day at the Festival. It all starts with a pancake breakfast between 7:30 and 9:00, and after that there a numerous events starting up, including antique car displays, a craft show, and flea market, and for the first time there will be a mini putt course set up. The Red Green boat races will take place at 1:00 pm, but entrants will start building their cardboard and duct tape boats at 11:30 am.

Concurrent with the festival, the Frontenac Farmers’ Market will be held, as usual, between 8:00 and 12:00 at the Lions’ Hall grounds on Verona Sand Road .

At 1:30 in the afternoon, performances will begin on the main stage. Performers will include pianist Lisa Carue, Handsome Molly (bluegrass), Stone Mills Idol, Crooked Wood (folk).

The United Church will present a fish fry starting at 5:00 pm, and at 7 pm the evening performances begin with Rock n’ Roll bands the Brink and Bauder Road playing.

Many of the hands-on activites will return on Sunday, along with the annual ecumenical church service and the Soap Box derby.

In the afternoon, Lisa Carue starts off the program, followed by gospel bands The Old Hims and Crimson River . The final performance of the weekend will be a good one, as the popular Celtic band Shores of Newfoundland will take the stage.

The Festival will wind down at about 4:30 on Sunday afternoon, when prize draws will be held, including the winner of the bike giveaway.

There are many more events and activities planned for this year’s festival. For information, pick up a brochure or check www.veronacommunity.on.ca.

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