Fireworks a go - beer tent not so much

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Modeled on a historic fund-raising lake crossing in a converted tub, the 29th annual Port Burwell Tub Daze is set for the civic holiday weekend from August 2–4.

“It’s been annual event ever since then,” said Paul Vyse, president of the Port Burwell Optimist Club. “It’s well attended – the Sunday fireworks is the biggest attraction that happens at dusk on the east pier.

“There used to be a refreshment tent, but as of this year that will no longer be there.”

Contemporary security requirements proved prohibitively expensive to retain the refreshment, or beer tent, Vyse explained of its departure.

“That was one of the biggest drawing cards. We’ve had some issues with the Alcohol, Gaming commission previously – those issues have been straightened out,” said Vyse. “But our municipal alcohol policy states that we have to have security for all the hours that we’re open and it’s just not feasible for us.

“It’s going to be the first year we haven’t had it, so I guess we just see what happens.”

The committee has approached the submissions committee from Ojibwa about possibly taking over Tub Daze but has not heard anything back.

“I think the biggest problem comes down to volunteers – living in a small place like that it is very difficult to get there for the volunteer help that you need,” Vyse added.

Organizer Deb Travis said other events will be in place.

“We’re still having the youth dance Friday night and Saturday we have the volleyball tournament,” said Travis.

She mentioned that they’ll have to tighten in other places because of no beer tent.

“There’s going to be two bands on the Saturday,” she added, noting that having no beer tent may affect this year’s turnout. “It probably will as far as people will come down and I don’t know if they’ll stay. We’re certainly going to advertise that there is no alcohol this year, but I think people will still come down and listen to the music on the beach – on the Saturday and Sunday.”

Travis also noted the security requirements were too demanding.

“We’ve always had security there during the peak times – from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. but the way they have it worded in the Bayham alcohol policy act, they wanted security there the entire time that we were serving,” explained Travis. “So you’re looking at noon ‘til 12 a.m. and we just could not afford that.”

Travis said the annual festival attracts visitors and people to the village as well as increased business.

“It draws people down to the area, to Port Burwell. They can certainly enjoy the beach, all the businesses up town – it brings in a lot of business for the area and it’s get people out to see the beautiful beaches.”

“There won’t be the fencing up like we’ve had previous years – so it’s going to be more open, people can just walk in,” she said. “I think that’s going to actually help a little bit more.”

There is usually 20 teams for beach volleyball and kids crafts on the Sunday as well. There is no car show either this year.

“The only way we can carry on is if the donations are there for the fireworks to continue on next year,” said Travis. “It all really, really depends on the donations. I can’t stress that enough – if the donations aren’t there to carry on the fireworks then we have to look at other options.”




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