Wilberforce preparing for three day carnival
By Angelica Ingram
July 19, 2016
The good times are returning to Highlands East next weekend as Wilberforce will host its first summer carnival on July 29, 30 and 31.
An initiative of the Highlands East Fire Heritage Committee, the three-day event is a fundraiser for a variety of organizations and causes, said Curtis Tighe, economic development and business co-ordinator for the municipality.
The carnival will be similar to Country Good Times, an event that ran for many decades up until the early 2000s, until it ran out of steam.
Tighe remembers going to Country Good Times as a kid and hopes to bring some of the fun back to the area.
“It was extremely popular,” he said.
One of the highlights of the weekend will be a midway, which will be set-up all three days, from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday; noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday; and noon until 5 p.m. on Sunday. The midway is being sponsored by the fire heritage committee, with a special advanced rate of $20 to ride all day on Saturday.
“It makes it affordable for families,” said Tighe.
The ride all day rate is $30 at the door.
The fire heritage committee is raising money to restore an original 1942 Ford pumper, with about $5,500 raised so far. The goal is $25,000.
Tighe said the hope is once the truck is restored it will be used in local parades, which will hopefully one day be a part of the carnival.
“Once we get the truck restored to the point where it can lead the parade there will be a parade,” he said.
Along with the midway, the curling club will be hosting a flea market, while the fire department will be cooking up burgers all weekend.
A car show will be organized by the Food Bank, and an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner will be prepared at the Wilberforce Legion on the Saturday night.
One of the highlights of the weekend will be a concert on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Keith Tallman Memorial Arena, featuring Trainwreck.
Described as a country rock band, Trainwreck, whose drummer is from Wilberforce, is a five-man band who have a single on the radio in Missouri, said Tighe.
“We’re hoping to have the arena packed,” said Tighe. “We will have taxis available.”
Tickets for the concert are $15 and it’s a licensed event, meaning everyone must be 19 years or older to attend. Tickets are available at Foodland, Agnew’s and the Wilberforce Service Centre.
At the same time as the concert there will be a kids movie night at the Lloyd Watson Centre.
The economic development and business co-ordinator is hoping the carnival becomes an annual event.
“We’re very excited and hopefully we get a good turnout and make a success of it so we can continue it in the future,” said Tighe. “I grew up going to Country Good Times, I wanted to bring an event back to the area and it’s a way that a lot of groups can raise a lot of funds and have a lot of fun at the same time.”
More info on the event can be found on Facebook by searching Wilberforce Summer Carnival. The event is rain or shine.