Turtles, turtles, rah, rah, rah! Oooh, I love turtles!
It is true! I do love turtles. Chocolate turtles, live real turtles and Tillsonburg’s turtle, George. Old George Tillson is returning once again to his beloved town to see the changes, in the form of a turtle. So keep your eyes peeled, you may just see him around town! Last year a live turtle actually crossed Broadway the night of Turtlefest!
George would be tickled to know that the turtle celebration is not only going strong but growing. This year Turtlefest is opening a day earlier, starting at 12 noon Friday, June 14 and running through to midnight with a big block party that I think covers all of downtown Broadway!
The entertainment stage will be located at Broadway and Oxford starting at noon, with Musical Interludes provided by CKOT. They will have Michael Warren, Brad James and other live musicians performing for you.
At 5 p.m. the party starts, with BBQ’s, jousting, dunk tank, more live music, food, children’s cake decorating, Greek Turtlefest, sidewalk sales and more. Next is the Classic Car parade starting up at North Broadway Baptist Church and heading downtown for 6 p.m. If you have a classic you’d like to parade, contact: email@example.com. All evening there will be a sailboat light display at Lake Lisgar, put on by the 3rd Tillsonburg Sea Scouts. It should be beautiful at dusk!
Saturday the 15th is the big day. There is way more going on that there is room to report here, so you had best keep your eye on the Tillsonburg News for the official list. (I haven’t found it on the website as yet).
The main areas for the events are: Annandale National Historic site (Museum); The Station Arts; Lake Lisgar; and the new site at the fairgrounds.
Annandale NHS, with Oxford Creative Connections, Tillsonburg Retirement Centre, Turtle Haven, Skunk Haven and Theatre Tillsonburg; will keep the whole family busy and happy from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Most exciting is Angie from Turtle Haven who will allow you to get up close and personal with a variety of species of live turtles and Peek-A-Boo the 50-pound tortoise who will be checking out all the events. (She’s big!) There are free crafts, a hidden turtle hunt, face painting, the chance to meet Dolly and Scooter the skunks, and learn about wildlife and games for the kids with prizes to be won as well as a tea party!
The Station Arts will start off at 8 a.m. with its weekly Farmers Market; with a 10 a.m. the Turtle Treats Baking Contest; an 11 a.m. Creative Imaginations Festival which is a free event for all families to learn about the arts and culture available in Tillsonburg. There will be a reptile show, balloons, carnival games, crafts, face painting, OPP and so much more!
Lake Lisgar will be busy again this year with all the events that the 3rd Tillsonburg Sea Scouts and rowing club have scheduled. There are canoe races and you can decorate your canoe to look like a turtle, from 10:30 a.m. until noon with the Scouts and their Sailboat light display all evening. The Rowing Club are busy from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. with a friendly regatta with club members and an open house. If you are interested you will have a chance to trying rowing with their experienced members.
Not on the list, but I really hope that this year you will be able to again tour around the lake to spot live turtles.
Speaking of water another even not actually in Lake Lisgar, but beside it, will be the half-price Turtle Swim at the Lake Lisgar Water Park from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
This year’s the new venue, the Fairgrounds Vender Alley, will have a multitude of different booths from the OPP’s Roll Over Car; Station Arts handcrafted arts and jewellery plus food vendors; and the Lake Lisgar Revitalization Project display showing mounts, specimens, and photos of different species of fish and wildlife, as well as photos of conservation officers at work and others.
The stage at the fairgrounds will have a variety of home and local-grown talent that will get you tapping your toes. There is a long list of entertainment from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. including: Jaclyn VanHappen, the Tillsonburg Celtic Club, Traces Steel Band, Danscene, Cops on Commission, The Smile Case, Crossley Hunter and The New Revolutionaries, Redneck Turtles (Country Band), Music by Brian, The Schott’s, Michael Bannerman and the Upside of Maybe and others. Don’t miss out on special children’s entertainers that hit the stage at 5 p.m.
Make sure you let your kids know there is a pre-teen dance from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Crystal Palace at the fairgrounds (no it really isn’t Crystal it is the green barn) put on by the Tilsonburg Kinettes. So if you have a 7-12-year-old, bring them to the dance. (They must be signed in and out by parents).
It is going to be a fun-filled festival. The only problem is that if you are working it, like me, you don’t get to play. So come by Annandale House and meet me, Scooter and Dolly and let me know how you are enjoying Turtlefest!