East Wawanosh celebrates 150th anniversary in style - July 6, 2017
BY DENNY SCOTT
The East Wawanosh 150th anniversary went well despite some brief brushes with unsavory weather, according to committee chair Jamie McCallum.
“The weekend was great and the weather held off for the most part,” he said. “There was nothing too bad for people to have to deal with.”
The weekend started on Friday night with registration beginning at 4 p.m. Opening ceremonies were held at 7 p.m. and included the judging of the beard growing contest and the photography contest results.
The weekend-long baseball tournament began soon after followed by one of three dances throughout the weekend.
Saturday included breakfast by the Belgrave Kinsmen, a parade at 11 a.m. and children’s activities throughout the afternoon. The afternoon also featured jam sessions and a school reunion, followed up by a chicken barbecue dinner and another dance.
Sunday started with a breakfast by members of the Fire Department of North Huron. A church service and family picnic started at 11 a.m. and a smoked pork chop supper hosted by the Blyth Lions ran from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. A moonlight walk started at 7:30 p.m. and, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., a farewell family dance was held.
McCallum said that numbers were yet to be determined, but the Saturday night dance, featuring Karli June, was likely the best-attended event of the weekend.
“I know that the Sunday supper sold out and we had over 700 people in the dance on Saturday night,” he said.
The parade was also well attended, according to McCallum, who said the downburst of rain minutes before the parade proved a bit of a stumbling block for the event, however thanks to some pushing, pulling and towing, the parade was able to go ahead.
“We staged the parade in a field and, when the rain hit, most of the vehicles got stuck,” he said. “People were pushing vehicles out and there was a tractor there towing the vehicles and floats out. We got everyone on to the road and into the parade, but it was a bit mucky.
“After that, the parade was excellent,” he said. “There were lots of floats and it was well-attended. It was nice to see that many people on the parade route.”
The rain also saw the children’s activities moved inside on Saturday, McCallum said, but they were well-attended and enjoyed he said.
“Family night also went well,” McCallum said of the Sunday night dance. “People seemed to have fun.”
McCallum said that the event wasn’t just well-attended, but was also well-received. He said, while he couldn’t speak on the 125th reunion with any authority due to being fairly young himself at the time, he thinks people enjoyed themselves.
“Things were a little more modernized from the other reunions,” he said. “But everyone had fun 25 years ago and everyone had fun this time around, so I’m counting that a success.”
The committee behind the event will be meeting later this month to go over final numbers and determine what will be done with any funds raised through the event.
“We have to wait for some paperwork work,” McCallum said. “The plan, however, is to keep the money in the community and give it to local initiatives or groups.”
The East Wawanosh 150th Reunion beard competition saw nearly a dozen competitors shave as 2016 came to a close and try to grow beards to win several different categories.
Judged by Damion Golley, the competition saw Bill Taylor win for longest full beard. Matt Beck and Marvin Cook tied for best trimmed beard.
Chris Shiell won for best goatee while Matt Shiell brought home the best ornate mustache.
Scruffiest beard was shared between Keith Black and Ralph Scott and the most naturally colourful beard award was shared by Ryan Cook and Les Caldwell.