First-ever Ottawa River Festival takes place this weekend
In celebration of the fact that the City of Clarence-Rockland will host the 2012 Poker Run on the Ottawa River, river-front communities across the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) will be participating in the first-ever Ottawa River Festival.
There are plenty of activities planned for the festival, which takes place this weekend, from Friday, July 6 to Sunday, July 8.
The Poker Run on the Ottawa River will run from Friday, July 6 to Sunday, July 8 and will include three different poker runs - the Poker Run - Performance Boats, Poker Run Rendez-Vous - Pleasure Boats and the Rockland Ford Poker Run, which will feature more than 200 cars.
All boats and vehicles will depart from Parc du Moulin in Rockland and wind their way through the united counties.
Though Clarence-Rockland will act as the host municipality, participants in the poker run event will travel through all municipalities along the waterfront, including Wendover, Lefaivre, L'Orignal, Hawkesbury and Chute-à-Blondeau.
For several years, Parc du Moulin in Rockland has been one of the Poker Run Extravaganza stops. In 2011, the organizers of this activity contacted the City of Clarence-Rockland and asked if it would be interested in hosting the poker run.
In partnership with community organizations, the City of Clarence-Rockland has established recreational programming for the participants of the events, as well as for the residents of the community and visitors.
In 2012, the City of Clarence-Rockland and the Town of Hawkesbury agreed that the event would alternate between the two towns. This means that in 2013 and 2014, the Ottawa River Festival's main activities will take place in Hawkesbury.
Organizers say this event could become a regional festival and would be the ideal opportunity to highlight the Ottawa River.
In May, the UCPR passed a resolution to provide $20,000 to the festival, since all of the grants Clarence-Rockland applied for to help fund the event were turned down.
The following is a schedule of events taking place in communities during the course of the poker run weekend. Please note, more information will be added as communities plan the activities to be held during the weekend:
On Friday, July 6, there will be parade of performance boats and classic cars beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by an exhibition of cars and boats at Rockland Plaza until 10 p.m.
Saturday, July 7 promises to be a busy day and will kick off with a breakfast for poker run participants from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
From 11 a.m. to noon, the Clarence-Rockland Artists' Association will have exhibitions and activities for children.
From noon to 1:30 p.m. there will be a children's show by Mic-Po, as well as a local talent show. There will also be buskers and canoe rides taking place until 6 p.m.
Eric Latreille and the Rock Junkies will provide plenty of music and entertainment from 8 p.m. to midnight.
On Sunday, July 8 there will be pancake breakfast put on by the Lions Club from 9 a.m. to noon and a water-skiing challenge put on by Power Boat Canada beginning at 11 a.m.
There will be a barbecue and activities for the whole family being held at the Wendover wharf on Saturday, July 7. The fun will start at 10 a.m.
In L'Orignal the main activities will be held at the beach at the municipal park. The beach will offer spectators a spectacular view of the river and the marina thanks.
On Saturday, July 7, there will be a funky water slide for children, courtesy of the Champlain Township District 2 volunteer firemen, as well as a sandcastle building competition and other beach games.
Frisotine the clown will entertain children with a variety of activities such as balloon sculpting, face painting, music, collective games, little trampoline for the kids, and a magic show.
While details for the event are still being planned, organizers said it is hoped that a shuttle service will be offered from L'Orignal to Hawkesbury and back. Organizers are still working on the live entertainment line-up.
On Sunday, July 8 activities will run from noon to 4 p.m. as L'Orignal hostd its first-ever soapbox derby for both children and adults.
This project is being put on by the Knights of Columbus and newly-formed L'Orignal Optimist Club.
There will be entertainment as well as a return visit by Frisotine the Clown. There will also be street painting and a treasure hunt on Laurier-Pilon Park.
Confederation Park will be the location of many activities throughout the weekend, including a fair featuring midway rides all weekend long.
The town hosts its annual Sidewalk Sale that weekend as well, during which numerous businesses will have sidewalk sales, street performers, clowns, face painting, games on Main Street and a talent show in the amphitheater at Place des Pionniers.
The Pride and Glory exhibition at Le centre culturel Le Chenail will also be on display this weekend at the Maison de l'île. The exhibition highlights the period of 1802 to 1965 in Hawkesbury's history.
This historic exhibit will run from June 30 until the end of August.
Activities will take place on Saturday, July 7 at the waterfront park located at 2949 Front Road, west of Golf Road intersection.
There will be a breakfast served by East Hawkesbury firefighters from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
People are invited to admire the performance boats participating in the Poker Run Extravaganza and the classic cars participating in the Rockland Ford Classic Poker Run.
The cost if $5 per person and children under six are free.
Proceeds will go to the East Hawkesbury Fire Department.