For the fourth year running, Sarnians can bid summer farewell on Labour Day weekend with a salute to all things good.
Good things like music, food and family fun.
The 2016 Festival of Good Things is moving to Canatara Park to take advantage of its covered band shell, lakeside pavilion and readily accessible parking, washrooms and electricity.
Organizers held the Festival of Good Things in an open field beside Sarnia Bay Marina the first three years, and were considering a move to Canatara even before parking lot construction impacted the old venue.
“Canatara is a far more convenient spot for everyone,” said organizer Chris Lewis. And it will cost less to hold the festival because tents and a stage don’t need to be rented.
“Plus, if it’s a nice day, there will be hundreds of people right there, already at the beach, and they can come to the festival.”
Lewis and his partners at the local marketing firm Storyboard Solutions conceived the Festival of Good Things.
It started a one-day festival to celebrate good people and good work in the community. The idea is to keep it free and family-friendly. Last year, about 3,000 attended.
Festival of Good Things is a registered non-profit, the same organization that brings The Beer Show and Oktoberfest to Sarnia each year.
“It’s good for Sarnia and Lambton County and we’re happy to provide it for local people and tourists,” said Lewis.
Four years later, the festival has grown into a two-day event with new activities, such as the popular Run of Exploding Colour, a five-kilometre fun run the morning of Sept. 3.
There’s live music throughout the day, a kids’ zone in Canatara’s main field, a handmade market with vendors selling everything from pottery to jewelry, and the “Good People” tent for 25 or so non-profits to spread their message.
The festival becomes a ticketed event with a beer tent and live music at 6 p.m.
On Friday night, local country sensation Eric Ethridge plays with Kelsi Mayne. Saturday night is rock night with Toronto band Rural Alberta Advantage and Young Rival as opener.
Rural Alberta Advantage is known for its exceptional live performances, said Lewis.
Other bands play throughout the afternoon Saturday when admission is free. They include Almost Floating with Sarnia’s Jim Chevalier, Toronto’s Lost Cousins, Hamilton’s Dan Edmonds, acoustic players Little Kid and Thomas St. Clair and The Down River Band from Sarnia.
New this year at Festival of Good Things is an overhauled Kids’ Zone with obstacle courses, face painting and more.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: 4TH annual Festival of Good Things
WHEN: Friday, Sept. 2 and Saturday, Sept. 3
WHERE: Canatara Park bandshell
TICKETS: It’s free! Except for nighttime concerts ($15 each) and participation in the Run of Exploding Colour. Details at www.festivalofgoodthings.com.