Planning is underway for the fifth annual Turtlefest, June 19-20, and organizers are hoping it's as successful as the first through fourth. Last year's crowds over the two days were estimated to be more than 10,000, making it one of the biggest events in town.
It's still a work in progress, however, for the Turtlefest committee.
"We've got some things in the fire..." said Turtlefest chairperson Les Anderson.
"Yeah, but nothing's really set in stone yet," nodded Suzanne Fleet, Turtlefest event coordinator.
Some of the entertainment they're hoping to bring in are the Ultimate Air Dogs, RE/MAX hot air balloon, and SOLTRA (Southwestern Ontario Lawn Tractor Racing Association).
"We're definitely going to have the inflatables again this year," said Fleet, noting Friday night's activities – including the Downtown Block Party – are all downtown, and many of Saturday's events are at Memorial Park, including the entertainment stage and Station Arts Centre's popular Creative Imaginations Festival.
The turtle treats baking contest also returns to Station Arts Centre and there will be booths, games and turtles at Annandale National Historic Site.
There will be a movie Saturday night, but they cannot announce the actual movie until the week of the festival.
"Don't forget the CIA," said Anderson, noting the introduction of the Tillsonburg Cultural Improvement Alliance.
"They are doing a juried art show with a turtle theme," Fleet nodded, "at the park – it will be in Memorial Arena, or outside."
Improvements are expected Saturday with more food vendors added to Vendor Alley.
"We're trying to broaden the scope so it covers the whole household," said Anderson. "Like the lawn tractor racing... should call that the Father's Day Tractor Show."
"Something for everyone, we're trying to do something for everyone this year," said Fleet.
The stage will be moved to a more central location in Memorial Park, said Fleet.
There will be an admission charge for Memorial Park, likely $5 general admission, but details are still being finalized.
"We're trying to figure out something for the teens," said Fleet, hoping their might be a teen dance, possibly in addition to the pre-teen dance organized by the Kinettes.
"The pre-teen dance will be in Crystal Palace in Memorial Park," said Anderson.
More announcements to come... stay tuned.
If you would like to help out with sponsorship – several levels available – or if you would like to volunteer at Turtlefest, contact them through their website (turtlefest.ca), Facebook page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.