| Jun 05, 2019

Ken Garrett Memorial Park in Inverary was a hive of activity on the weekend as the first ever 3 Pitch, 3 Chords Spring Fling drew crowds in an effort to raise funds primarily for accessible washrooms.

“Everybody thinks this is a Township-owned park but it isn’t,” said Shawn Pearce, president of the Inverary Youth Activity Group, which owns and operates the park. “It’s used six, seven nights a week and we have nine minor ball teams — the most we’ve had in years.

“I grew up here and I’d hate to see it die — I even took a week of holidays this week to work on it.”

By all accounts, the Fling was the brainchild of Kimberly Allen, who, among other things, owns Little Texas Roadhouse in Kingston.

“I was very pleased when Kim approached me with this idea,” Pearce said.

Allen, who is originally from the 509 corridor north of Sharbot Lake, now calls Rickards Road home. She’s played her share of ball at Ken Garrett and other area diamonds, and she likes music.

“Growing up, I used to go to the Ompah Stomp,” she said. “This is my Ompah Stomp.”

To that end, she closed up Little Texas for the weekend, allowing all her staff to donate their time to this venture, if they so chose. Most did.

And so did 16 musical acts, all part of the musical family at Little Texas.

“Ninety-five per cent of the bands will just jump at the chance to do this for her,” said stage manager Ken Hemlow, who also played on Sunday. “We had one band who had to cancel because their drummer hurt his back but another one jumped right in.”

Country singer Courtney Kane is just getting started in the business and saw it as good exposure.

“I’m trying to make this full-time,” she said. “I’m working on a website and doing my own thing.”

Besides the ball tournament and concert, the day featured a beer tent, a kids area as well as several food and merchandise vendors.

They even brought the mechanical bull in from Little Texas.

“That bull has been all over,” Allen said. “It’s even been to the Havelock Country Jamboree.”

Even the mayor was there, but not in an official capacity.

“It’s wonderful that they’re fixing this up,” said Ron Vandewal. “It’s not a Township-run facility so thanks to all the volunteers donating their time.”

While Allen was very pleased with the way the weekend was unfolding, this may be only the beginning.

She can see potential to make it a yearly festival and has talked to local contractors and friends about fixing up an area for camping, just like many of the music festivals operating in Southern Ontario.

“This would be my Ompah Stomp,” she said.

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