Navy Yard Park

Fishing in Navy Yard Park suggested by town council member

 

By Ron Giofu

 

While attending the Bob Meloche Memorial Fishing Derby on Father’s Day, a member of town council was asked if fishing along the shoreline could become a regular occurrence.

Councillor Rick Fryer brought those concerns and questions to the June 25 meeting, wondering if there was any interest in allowing fishing for a greater distance along the shoreline of the park. He suggested possibly allowing occasions monthly or every other month where people would be given permission to fish for a greater stretch.

“In Windsor, they do it all the way along,” said Fryer, “but in Amherstburg, we only allow it 42 or 44-feet.”

The idea of more fishing opportunities in Navy Yard Park was discussed by town council recently. (Submitted photo)

Councillor Joan Courtney agreed, calling it “wonderful” to see fathers and sons fishing together. She said there are those who love the park for its foliage and flowers but suggested maybe younger people could have a greater use of the park should more allowances be made for fishing.

However, Councillor Jason Lavigne spoke against the idea, preferring that the town wait until the new development at the Duffy’s site be completed before looking into fishing from the shoreline.

Lavigne said that he has learned of stories from bylaw enforcement officials of “thousands” of people lining the shoreline during silver bass season “and it was horrendous what was going on there.”

“They were using the lawn as a washroom. The garbage build-up was horrendous,” he said. “Hundreds and hundreds of people were lining up and people couldn’t enjoy the park. It was disgusting.”

As there was no motion on the floor or direction given by town council, the matter did not proceed any further.

Planning for Amherstburg Uncommon Festival ongoing

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Plans for the Amherstburg Uncommon Festival are underway and town tourism officials believe things are coming together nicely.

The festival, planned to be in the downtown core including Navy Yard Park and Toddy Jones Park, is set for Aug. 3-5 and manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota is enthusiastic about what the Civic Holiday weekend will do for the town.

“Something uncommon is about to hit the streets of Amherstburg,” said Rota. “Every day, a new exciting activity is added. By Aug. 3-5, people are going to be amazed at what is going to be in Amherstburg.”

Among the list of activities is a children’s innovation pavilion in Navy Yard Park which will include robotics, falconry and flight demonstrations, a straw maze, hat making, ghost walks, costume contests, tea pot races, a Canadian Historic Aircraft aerial display, quidditch games, psychic readings and Dr. Von Houligan’s Carnival of Calamities. The latter will see a big top set up in Toddy Jones Park with tickets to enter being available at WFCU.

“Tickets are only $5 each because of a generous donation from WFCU, who sponsored the tent,” said Rota.

Rota said even the tourism department is surprised by the level of interest the festival has been receiving.

“We are amazed with the popularity of Harry Potter and steampunk,” said Rota. “We never thought there would be so much interest out there.”

The bulk of the event will be free, said Rota, and noted they have received a number of sponsors that have helped with costs.

“The streets will be filled with activities for the entire three days,” she said. “There are some very, very uncommon and unusual acts. We have fireworks every single night that ends the show.”

The costume contest will be judged by representatives from Windsor Comic-Con and have male, female and children categories.

“We will have giant steam engines on display and a chuckwagon at Toddy Jones Park,” added Rota.

What will be involved with the “Insecta Alley” will be left as a surprise for now, she stated.

There is no plan to have food trucks or vendors involved, Rota said, with people encouraged to visit local restaurants as many will have Harry Potter and steampunk-themed menus.

“We are really encouraging people to visit downtown businesses and restaurants,” she said.

For more information on the Amherstburg Uncommon Festival, call the tourism office at 519-730-1309, visit www.amherstburg.ca/uncommon or visit the tourism department’s Facebook page by searching “Amherstburg Connection.” The public can also follow the tourism department on Twitter by searching @AmherstburgNow.

Downton Abbey comes to Amherstburg

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

People dressed in their Sunday finest and came down to King’s Navy Yard Park Sunday for the first-ever Rhododendron Garden Tea Party.

The event was presented in partnership between the town’s tourism department and the Belle Vue Conservancy. There were two sittings with manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota stating there were about 250 tickets sold combined.

“It’s a good number especially for a first year considering what a wet and dreary spring we had,” said Rota. “People were watching the weather forecasts. Mother Nature shined on us today.”

The weather for the tea was warm and sunny and Rota said the location proved to be a draw as well.

“I think, given the location of King’s Navy Yard Park and the magnificent blooms of the rhododendrons and azalea gardens, it’s a perfect fit for a garden tea party.”

A fundraising total for the Belle Vue restoration was not known as of press time, but Rota said the Downton Abbey-themed event was about raising awareness of the 200-year-old mansion as well. Belle Vue sits at 525 Dalhousie St. and the Belle Vue Conservancy is in its second year of raising money trying to try and restore it.

Joanna Starczewski, Maya Dobosz and David Wagner were winners of the costume awards at the morning session of the Rhododendron Garden Tea Party May 27. At right is Linda Jackson of the Belle Vue Conservancy.

The day also raised awareness of Amherstburg and the Navy Yard Park, Rota added.

“I think the Royal Wedding inspired people to come out in their hats and fascinators,” she added. “It’s all about costumes, role playing and coming out and having a great time in Amherstburg. That’s why we are Amherstburg Uncommon.”

The Amherstburg Uncommon Festival, which Rota alluded to, is Aug. 3-5.

Michael Prue and Shirley Curson-Prue were dressed to the nines for the Rhododendron Garden Tea Party.

Linda Jackson, chair of corporate outreach for the Belle Vue Conservancy, pointed out the role Bob and Norma Sutherland had in creating the rhododendron and azalea beds in Navy Yard Park. She also recognized the volunteers who have maintained and grown the beds since.

Jackson added it was nice to see Navy Yard Park used that way. She also noted the proceeds from the Rhododendron Garden Tea Party will benefit the restoration of Belle Vue, which is getting a new roof. The windows are the next phase of the restoration project with fundraising currently underway for that.

“She will truly be a gem in the Windsor-Essex County area,” said Jackson, of Belle Vue.

Martha Minogue-Fiorino plays the harp during the morning session of the May 27 Rhododendron Garden Tea Party.

David and Helen Wagner of Windsor came to Amherstburg for the event and dressed in costume.

“We are into steampunk,” explained Helen. “We’ve been doing it for about seven years.”

David added they have a costume room at their home with various different steampunk attire.

For more photos, visit our Facebook album.

Culture Days and Rendezvous heading to Amherstburg later this month

 

By Ron Giofu

 

With the Canuck it Up Festival held last month, the town’s tourism department is now focused on two more events.

Culture Days will be held in Amherstburg Sept. 30-Oct.1 with the bulk of activities planned for King’s Navy Yard Park. That will coincide with the Rendezvous Voyageur and Fur Trader encampment being held at Fort Malden National Historic Site, with that event being held in co-operation with the Maidstone and Area Historical Society.

The two-day Rendezvous event will feature canoes on the Detroit River, a camp frying pan competition, a camp pea soup competition, presentations and storytellers which will include the likes of Seamus Gunn, Tibert the Voyageur, author Rob Malo among others. Re-enactors and participants that are currently scheduled include Provincial Marine Amherstburg, the Niagara Metis Council Voyageurs, the St. Clair Voyageurs from Michigan, the Windsor-Essex Canoe Club, the Ontario Fur Management Federation, Archery Windsor and the Maidstone Voyageurs.

Culture Days is coming to Navy Yard Park Sept. 30-Oct. 1 with Rendezvous to be at Fort Malden National Historic Site that same weekend.

Culture Days is coming to Navy Yard Park Sept. 30-Oct. 1 with Rendezvous to be at Fort Malden National Historic Site that same weekend. (Special to the RTT)

The Culture Days portion of the weekend will include kids activities, the Nifty Needleworkers creating a community scarf with the help of new and experienced knitters, Amherstburg Rocks! Painting with the Amherstburg Integrity Admirals, games, horse drawn carriage rides, performances and demonstrations by the Windsor Circus School and a Sunday afternoon performance by the Essex Community Concert Band.

There will also be a Canada 150 juried exhibit at the Gibson Gallery, tours of the Boblo Blockhouse (ferry fees apply), walking tours conducted by local historian Robert Honor and storytellers from the Amherstburg Freedom Museum in Navy Yard Park.

“They really complement each other,” said tourism co-ordinator/visitor information centre manager Jen Ibrahim of the two events.

Other partners helping to present the Culture Days event include St. Peter’s ACHS College School and Anderdon Child Care. There will also be tinsmithing at the Park House Museum as well as the chance, for a small entry fee, to see the museum’s “Her Story: 150 Years of Women in Canada – Fashion, Politics, and Gender Roles” exhibit.

Culture Days is coming to Navy Yard Park Sept. 30-Oct. 1 with Rendezvous to be at Fort Malden National Historic Site that same weekend.

Culture Days is coming to Navy Yard Park Sept. 30-Oct. 1 with Rendezvous to be at Fort Malden National Historic Site that same weekend. (Special to the RTT)

Ibrahim said there will be a lot of hands-on activities that weekend and both sites.

“All of our town’s stakeholders are engaged and looking forward to it,” said Ibrahim. “This is an economical event for our community and beyond.”

Activities are scheduled to run from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days.

For more information on the event, contact the town’s tourism office at 519-730-1309, visit www.amherstburg.ca/canuckitup or visit the tourism department’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AmherstburgConnection.

WSO brings free concert series back to Amherstburg

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

Every summer, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra takes their instruments on the road and head out to play in the fresh county air.

To kick off their 2017 Free Summer Concert Series, the WSO brought their woodwind quintet to the gazebo in King’s Navy Yard Park to play for a crowd of people. Grandparents sat on the grass with the grandchildren, families brought their kids, some people brought their dogs, and they all enjoyed the beautiful weather Saturday evening.

The Windsor Symphony Orchestra played an array of songs from Mozart, to Elton John, to Amherstburg’s own Shelton Brooks, and even Johannes Brahms Saturday night in King’s Navy Yard Park.

The Windsor Symphony Orchestra played an array of songs from Mozart, to Elton John, to Amherstburg’s own Shelton Brooks, and even Johannes Brahms Saturday night in King’s Navy Yard Park.

“We have been coming to Amherstburg for years now and Colleen and Richard Peddie are the generous sponsors for the event here in Amherstburg, so we are very, very grateful to them,” said Stephani Marshall, director of operations with the WSO. “We like to create a program that’s going to showcase the wonderful music that our musicians can play, but this program this year is really special. It was created by Faith Scholfield, who plays the oboe in this concert. It’s sort of a preview of the season and gives a little taste of what’s to come.”

The WSO will be playing two concerts a month from now until the end of August, and will resume their regular season in September.

Marshall explained one of the best things about the WSO is that there is truly something for everybody. This year’s season includes a number of shows, including Ode To Canada, Music of Star Wars, music from Elton John, The Marriage of Figaro, and so much more. Marshall said they try to appeal to all types of people from all walks of life.

The Windsor Symphony Orchestra played an array of songs from Mozart, to Elton John, to Amherstburg’s own Shelton Brooks, and even Johannes Brahms Saturday night in King’s Navy Yard Park.

The Windsor Symphony Orchestra played an array of songs from Mozart, to Elton John, to Amherstburg’s own Shelton Brooks, and even Johannes Brahms Saturday night in King’s Navy Yard Park.

“We have a lot of music for young children, we do a kids concert series all throughout our season, we reach thousands of students throughout the county with our education and outreach programs, we go to retirement communities and nursing homes,” said Marshall. “From birth to any age, we have something for everybody. I think if you look at this crowd here, you can see people bring their children, they get an ice cream, people come out with their dogs, it’s just a lovely way for everybody to get together in the community and just have a chance to enjoy the weather.”

To learn more about their Free Summer Concert Series, or about their 2017-2018 regular season, visit www.windsorsymphony.com.

The next summer concert in Navy Yard Park is July 22 at 7 p.m.