Music, art, to highlight first-ever June Classic

Members of local band PUCE describe themselves as hard rocking good time Charlies. From left are: Dane Hansen, Dillon Lambert, Roy Tennyson and Alex Perdeaux. PUCE plays at the June Classic Friday, June 14. Submitted Photo.

Cathy Dobson

A new summer event for art and music lovers is being launched this June and may help fill the void while Sarnia’s Artwalk is on hiatus.

The June Classic will be hosted by the Davis Street Refined Fool and takes place Father’s Day weekend June 14 – 16.

It’s being billed as a fun outdoor party with lots of live music, artisan booths and food, according to Billie Jo Gage, the brewery’s event co-ordinator.

Gage was also a board member with Artwalk and booked the entertainment for the popular downtown festival. For 17 years, Artwalk attracted upwards of 20,000 people with its live bands, 100-plus art vendors and cultural activities.

So Gage has a lot of connections to help launch the June Classic. But she emphasises that it’s in no way a new Artwalk.

“We (at Refined Fool) are more bummed than anyone that Artwalk isn’t running this year,” said Gage. “It was incredible for our downtown, our city, and an amazing event for Refined Fool to partner with.

“We are excited to be hosting a new local event this summer that has some similarities but would step aside in an instant if Artwalk returned,” she said.

June Classic is far smaller than Artwalk and its space will be limited to the municipal parking lot adjacent to the brewery.

About two-dozen artisans have been invited to set up tents to sell their local wares and do demonstrations at an artist’s village. Spots are filling fast but there is still room for a couple more, Gage noted. Email her at billiejoe@refinedfool.com for details.

She has recruited local artists Stewart Fanning and Elise McDonald to co-ordinate the artist’s village and ensure there’s a varied selection of items to buy.

A beer garden, food by March Hare and Sitara, backyard games and a lineup of live bands and DJs, both local and out-of-town, are booked for the weekend.

“Our goal is to bring people downtown for a fun, outdoor party,” said Gage. “In no way are we replacing Artwalk. We see them as two separate entities.”

The bands hired for June Classic vary in style. The Horseless Headman, PUCE, The Human Fund, and The Hackberries are local bands scheduled throughout the weekend. Refined Fool is also bringing in The Go ‘Rounds from Kalamazoo and JUMPLE from Toronto. DJ Phatfingers and DJ d!zzy free, both from Sarnia, will spin some tunes as well.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: June Classic. Rain or Shine. Free.

WHEN: June 14 –16.

WHERE: Refined Fool parking lot. 137 Davis St.

Music schedule:

Friday

7 p.m. – Horseless Headman

8 p.m. – PUCE

9:30 p.m. – The Go ‘Rounds

Saturday

1 – 5 p.m. – DJ Phatfingers

7 p.m. – The Human Fund

8 p.m. – The Hackberries

9:30 p.m. – JUMPLE

Sunday

Noon – 5 p.m. – DJ d!zzy free

The Arts Journal welcomes story ideas that reflect Sarnia’s cultural life.  Contact cathy.dobson@thesarniajournal.ca.