Cenotaph Day will be part of Blyth's 140th anniversary celebration - March 16, 2017
BY DENNY SCOTT
Plans for the Blyth 140th Anniversary committee are continuing to coalesce according to committee chair Crystal Taylor.
Taylor, in an interview with The Citizen, said that some plans had been confirmed for the event’s July 28-30 celebratory weekend, while a few others had changed since she last presented the itinerary to the Blyth Business Improvement Area (BIA).
Friday, July 28 the celebration will kickoff with the rededication of the Blyth Memorial Community Hall cenotaph starting with a parade from the Blyth Legion at 6:30 p.m. as part of Cenotaph Day.
That evening, alongside the Huron County Health Unit, a family-friendly, smoke-free movie night will be held at the Blyth and District Community Centre. Taylor said the event will be determined by the weather.
“If there is rain, it will be on the arena floor, but, if the weather is good, it will be outside and projected on to the wall of the arena,” she said.
On Saturday, July 29, the committee had decided to avoid significant events throughout the day as it would clash with the BIA’s annual Streetfest event and the Blyth Lion’s 100th anniversary of Lionism celebration. The Lions celebration has changed, however, leaving the Blyth 140th committee looking to set up a meal on Saturday evening.
A representative of the Blyth Lions, John Stewart, explained that originally the organization was considering a reunion celebration to co-incide with the 140th event, however the group didn’t know if it was feasible. A tentative event to be included in the weekend is being considered by the Blyth Lions Executive.
Saturday will also feature some time for people to look back on the history of the Village of Blyth. Taylor explained that trinkets and paraphernalia from Blyth’s past will be on display at the community centre and that registration will be held, allowing people’s participation in the anniversary to be enshrined in a book detailing the event.
Taylor also said that Brock Vodden, a well-known historian of Blyth and the surrounding area, will be hosting a slide show highlighting the history of the village.
A dance will be held in the upper hall of the Blyth and District Community Centre featuring the local band The Containment Unit.
Sunday, the celebrations will be held at Lions Park where the Blyth Ministerial group has decided to host an outdoor church service.
“We’re trying to firm up plans for a picnic lunch after the service,” Taylor said.
Sunday night there will be family fun and games at the Lions Park.
The group’s next meeting is set for March 22 at the Blyth Legion at 6:30 p.m.
When the meeting is concluded, a bow-making session will be held to help prepare for decorating the community for the homecoming weekend.
“If anyone is interested in helping, they are more than welcome,” Taylor said.
The group also recently marked a successful pancake breakfast on Monday, Feb. 13 as part of North Huron Township’s Family Day celebrations.
The breakfast was hosted by the Blyth 140th Committee and the BIA. The breakfast opened at 8 a.m. and sold out by 9:40 a.m. Volunteers made two runs to get more supplies but couldn’t keep up with the number of people.
The two groups served 211 breakfasts that morning, raising $700, which was donated to the North Huron Food Share.
The group’s calendar fundraiser will continue and has been called a success at several past meetings of the organization by committee member Cat O’Donnell, the calendar chair for the Blyth 140th committee. The first print of 100 calendars sold out and, after deciding to have another run, it took less than a week to sell the second order out as well.
O’Donnell said anyone wishing to order a calendar can contact her at the Wonky Frog Studio in Blyth at 519-440-2717.
The committee is currently looking for volunteers according to both Taylor and O’Donnell. So far, 15 people have signed on to the group including Chair Crystal Taylor, Co-Chair Lissa Kolkman, O’Donnell and North Huron Representative Councillor Bill Knott and North Huron Economic Development Officer Connie Goodall.
“A handful of people could equate to a handful of activities over the three-day weekend,” she said. “Community support for these community events is vital.”
Taylor said the group isn’t looking for people to spearhead any initiatives, but more looking for people to help make the events a success.
“We need helping hands,” she said. “We have people to lead the event, but we need people to help make it a reality.”
She said anyone interested in participating with the group can sign up by contacting a committee member directly or by finding the Blyth 140th Anniversary page on Facebook.