Canada Day celebrations draw a large crowd

Although the threat of rain was on the minds of the organizers of the Canada Day celebrations held on July 1, the day turned out to be “successful and well-attended.”

Starting at 8:30 a.m. with a pancake breakfast, the clouds in the sky were evident, but co-operative.

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The slo-pitch ball tournament began at 9 a.m., and concessions and inflatable play structures for the young ones were up and running by 11 a.m.

The interdenominational church service, led by Rev. Nancy Brunt and Rev. Kevin Sprong, was held in the concessions area at 10 a.m. and was “very well attended.”

A parade with about a dozen floats wound its way from the medical clinic to Main Street starting at noon. The Kamsack River Valley Archery Club float was awarded first place by the parade judges, and Scott Green accepted a cheque for $125 on behalf of the club.

Phoeobe’s Beauty Parlour float entry was pulled by Larry Larson on his tractor which has been painted as a tribute to the Humboldt Broncos hockey team, and this float came in second, with a prize of $75.

At 1 p.m. Nancy Brunt, Kamsack’s mayor, and Karen Koreluik, town councillor, raised the flag at the sportsgrounds and the Kamsack Community Choir sang O Canada. While Brunt cut and served the Canada Day cake with assistance from Kev Sumner, recreation director, and his wife Louise, the choir entertained the crowd with several songs.

The judging of the butterfly boxes which had earlier been distributed by the town’s recreation director, to be decorated for the Canada Day event, took place at 2 p.m.

The Polka Pals took to the stage at the concession area to entertain at around 2 p.m., after which a DJ was on hand to provide music at 4 p.m.

Around 5 p.m. Ty and Ralph Keshane of Cote presented First Nations entertainment with drumming, along with dancer Lilyanna Quewezance.

Lloyd Smith and his horse-drawn wagon pulled by his team, Tom and Jigs, was gave free wagon rides to anyone who had a desire.

At 1 p.m. the Mud Bogs competitions started. This was the fifth such event sponsored by the Kamsack Mud Slingers organization.

Preparations for the mud pits began days in advance of the competition. The spectator area was given a boost by the town when four of the older bleachers were moved from the ball diamond area to the “mud pits” section.

With Kelsey Raukman on the microphone as the announcer, the competitions got underway with the quad categories.

Mark Medve, from Shellbrook, competed with a 2017 Renegade XMR 1000 four-wheeler, and has friends and family in Kamsack.

“I travel to as many mudding competitions as I can during the summer,” he said. “Coming to Kamsack is great because I have friends and family here. I like the pit set-up.”

The trucks went next and at times, mud completely obliterated the vehicles from view.

“I enjoy the challenge of driving in the Mud Bogs but I think it’s a great spectator sport so that motivates me as well,” said TJ (Tim) Derwores, who drove his 2001 GMC in the Mud Bogs competitions, and was one of the gold sponsors of the event with his company DMD Plumbing and Heating Solutions.

“On behalf of the Mud Slingers, we were definitely happy to be back in action on July 1,” said Rauckman, a board member of the group. It was a great event that we hope everyone enjoyed. Expect bigger and better things to come from the Mud Slingers and a big thank you to everyone who came out to watch.”

“It was a great Canada Day all around,” said Kev Sumner on behalf of the town-organized event. “I think it was one of the best attended Canada Day events in years. There were likely 1000 people in attendance during the day.

“We got incredibly lucky with the weather. The events like the slo-pitch ball games, the free swim at the pool, the inflatables for the kids and the Mud Bogs organized by the Kamsack Mud Slingers organization all contributed to the success of the day.

“We had a variety of good entertainment with the Polka Pals, the First Nation drummers and dancers and Atomic Roadhouse, among others.

“The fireworks at dusk were great. We have a new crew under the direction of our new fire chief Cody Langlois, and everything went very well. There was a bit of rain around 8:30 in the evening but it had no impact on the fireworks display. It went off without a hitch, so kudos to the Kamsack Volunteer Fire Department.”