| Aug 16, 2007


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Feature Article - August 16, 2007

Verona Festival soaks up the summer sun

Perfect weather greeted record crowds at the 12th annual Verona Festival last weekend.

The unique event includes a variety of activities including a parade, soap box derby, duct tape boat race, live local music all weekend, an antique auto show and an ecumenical service.

This year’s theme for the Festival was “clowning around in Verona”. The Friday night parade was dominated by clowns this year, and all weekend clowns could be spotted throughout the Festival grounds.

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Wayne Conway, who is the current general manager of the Festival, said the “volunteers who run the festival are so well ingrained in their roles that they take care of al the issues. It’s very easy for someone in my role.”

The Verona Festival is not intended as a fundraising event, but as the Festival has grown in popularity it has been able to generate a small surplus. Any extra money goes to other projects of the Verona Community Association, such as the new Verona Village signs.

Over the years the Festival has become a sort of reunion weekend for families with connections to the Verona area, and the relaxed visiting that takes place on the festival grounds is as important to many people as any of the events are.

Among the new events this year was a “tribute to our soldiers” which took place after Sunday’s ecumenical service.

The Sydenham Legion provided the colour party, and four World War 2 Veterans from Verona were on hand. The speaker was Ray Idzenga, a 30 year member of the Canadian Military, who talked about his recent mission to Afghanistan, providing a perspective on the Afghanistan mission that is different from what people are used to hearing in the press.

He also talked about how supportive the local community has been to his family while he was away in Afghanistan, to the extent that he has decided to settle in the area after moving around throughout his military career.

As always, the Verona Festival comes down to a celebration of community.

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