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Point Edward is the place to be this weekend

Published on

Cathy Dobson

If Point Edward were any busier this weekend, the village borders would have to expand.

The 91st annual Mackinac boat race from Port Huron to Mackinac Island gets under way on Saturday morning, July 18. It sets the stage for a slew of community events that promise to attract thousands to Waterfront Park under the Blue Water Bridges.

As many as 250 sailboats from all over North America are expected to pass under the bridges between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., on their way to the starting line about a mile out into Lake Huron.

It’s a spectacle that draws thousands to the St. Clair River shoreline with lawn chairs and blankets so they can watch the colourful flotilla pass by.

Thirty-three years ago, the Rotary Club of Sarnia recognized the Mackinac Race presents a great chance to fundraise, so club members began serving a pancake breakfast under the bridges from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. to feed the crowd and draw even more people.

“It’s so much fun,” says breakfast co-ordinator Carolyn Luciani. “Point Edward is the place to be this weekend.”

Pancakes, sausages, tea or coffee cost $6 for adults or $3 for children. Tickets are available in advance at Manley’s, Pathways Children’s Centre, or by calling 519-542-3471. Advance ticket holders are able to jump into an express line at breakfast and automatically enter a draw.

Note that the club encourages bike use by offering a secure bicycle corral. Cycling is a good choice since parking will be tricky at the waterfront.

Last year, Rotarians flipped 6,000 pancakes onto the plates of 2,000 hungry customers. That broke the record but the club is preparing for even more this year because the Scott FireFit Championships are also being held in the parking lot immediately east of the park on Saturday and Sunday.

Thanks to the initiative of Point Edward volunteer firefighter Gord Yates, Lambton College and a whole lot of community effort, FireFit is coming.

It’s considered one of Canada’s most intense physical contests and pits the brawniest firefighters from across North America against one another.

Spectators will be able to see them climbing, hammering, spraying and dragging hose.

Of local interest is Ian VanReenen, a coach with the college’s FireFit team and Point Edward volunteer.  He recently broke the men’s individual world record at the Scott FireFit Southern Ontario regionals in Ingersoll and will compete in Point Edward.

FireFit action gets under way both days from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

And don’t forget, the Point Edward Optimists are providing tons of musical entertainment too.

The annual Bridge Bash in Waterfront Park starts Friday and runs until 8 p.m. Sunday. It features a food tent, beer garden, a family area, as well as live music Friday and Saturday nights.

Two bands – Scott Manery and the Barnburners and Borderline – play Friday. Saturday’s lineup includes Chemical Valley and Retrospect. Admission is $5.

For more information on the weekend’s events, visit:

www.FireFit.com and www.tourismsanrialambton.com and www.bycmack.com.

The Arts Journal reflects what makes the Sarnia-Lambton community come alive culturally.  If you have a story idea, contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or 226-932-0985. 

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