Tourism department unveils two new town events



By Ron Giofu


A pair of new events are coming this year with the unveiling being at town council’s Monday night meeting.

Manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota announced that the Aug. 3-5 “Amherstburg Uncommon” festival will have Harry Potter and steampunk themes. Rota said there is a strong Harry Potter community in Michigan and described steampunk as “a genre inspired by a historical setting highlighting technology and aesthetic design inspired by the 19th century.”

Steampunk has also been described as “a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology.”

Rota said their data shows many people like to come to festivals the Civic Holiday weekend, citing the success of the Canuck It Up! Festival held in 2017.

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“Amherstburg has the momentum and clientele for another large event,” she said. “We are looking at many, many partners to participate in this event.”

The Canadian Historical Aircraft Museum aims to be part of the “Amherstburg Uncommon” festival including daily aerial demonstrations. The goal for the event is to attract at least 40,000 people.

It will be partially funded by the Government of Ontario.

There will be a “symposium” for business owners to learn more about the festival and other 2018 events March 27 at the Libro Centre. Two meetings are planned with business owners invited to either the 8 a.m. meeting or the 3 p.m. CAO John Miceli called the meeting “monumental” and said it is important to reach out to the community and “build the economic engine with special events.”

Rota also said there will be an Amherstburg Rhododendron Garden Tea Party, which will be held in Navy Yard Park May 27 with the support of the Belle Vue Conservancy. The event will feature two tents, 50 volunteers and two seatings for the tea, which is envisioned as an event similar to “Downton Abbey.”

“This will be in celebration of what we’re already known for – presenting the town in beautiful bloom,” said Rota.

Seatings would have 150 people each in Navy Yard Park.

The tourism department already gets inquiries as to when the rhododendrons and azaleas are in bloom, she added. She said garden tourism is on the rise and the Communities in Bloom judges also suggested to exploit the town’s garden assets.

Councillor Leo Meloche praised the work of tourism department, which recently added Sarah Van Grinsven and Anna Cabrera to its complement.

“You and your staff are doing a great job,” Meloche told Rota.

“You and your staff are doing a great job,” he told Rota.

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