Summer Festival & sidewalk sales this weekend

ONE of the most anticipated summertime events in Port Dover is Summer Festival. Often called Art in the Park, it is held the third weekend in August.
The 2018 organizing committee is ready for the 46th annual event in Powell Park this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and 19.
It will be complimented by merchants’ sidewalk sales in a “Main Street Market” which gets underway on Friday. One block of Main Street will be closed to vehicle traffic for three days beginning on Friday.
Festival chair Jan Overend reports “this popular southern Ontario show offers 100 juried arts and crafts vendors, an antique market, and a humongous book fair.” She commented to The Maple Leaf on Monday how the Festival committee had been scouting other fairs all year for unique vendors to invite to attend Port Dover’s Festival.
Again this year, Kay Rundle will be the announcer both days from the bandstand … a task she has taken on for over 20 years. Mrs Rundle also organizes the popular antique dealers that set up their exhibits on Market Street.
Free musical entertainment is arranged for both days by Rachel Heart and Nikki Schram with performances in the park and at Elmer Lewis Parkette. For hungry festival-goers there will be tasty food by 1st Port Dover Sea Scouts (there annually), Ralph Murphy’s Chip Wagon, and Ice Cream 4 You canteen truck as well as all the restaurants and food booths in town.
The Festival Committee has also arranged for puppet shows. With children in mind, there will be crafts and things to make at a booth sponsored by Turkstra Lumber in Simcoe — all near the bandstand in shady Powell Park.
An on-site committee meeting Monday morning finalized where each vendor would be located.




Mary Etta McGraw, Jan Overend, Kay Rundle, Brian Anderson make final preparations for this weekend’s Summer Festival.


For about 10 years a committee headed by Brian Anderson has had the task to locate each vendor.
Using a spreadsheet, he has produced a detailed layout showing every vendor, artist, food outlet, fire extinguisher, electric outlet located in the park. Every vendor is allotted a space 10.5 ft. square. The layout is emailed to every vendor so each is aware in advance where they are situated before arriving on Friday to set-up for Saturday morning.
Brian Anderson’s working group to oversee the set-up of the vendors consists of Carol Anderson, Jim Taylor, Jeff Tapp, Steve Zurlaw, Fred Gose, Brook and Doris Sowden, Annabell Beswick, Charly Buck, Marlene Morton.
Artists this year are being located randomly throughout the park. Pam Schneider’s art will be exhibited for the first time at the Festival this year, along with others.

Sidewalk sales

Port Dover merchants will be displaying merchandise on the sidewalk and on the closed-to-traffic Main Street block (as well as inside stores) during the weekend. They will be displaying regular and seasonal merchandise with many items at Sidewalk Sale reduced prices.
One of the big draws during the two-day Summer Festival is the Book Sale, consisting of 40 tables of donated books of every description. Book committee Chair Mary Etta McGraw stated on Monday “bring a bag with you to fill with books (of your choice) all for a donation of money.”
Festival Chair Overend noted the profit from the books helps finance the attractive hanging floral baskets along Main Street and the flowers in Elmer Lewis Parkette, adding “we hope book buyers will be generous in their donations.”
The Book Committee has the most committee members of any Festival group: Gerry Randall, Chuck and Helen Lloyd, Joyce Berry, Elizabeth Wells, Dorothy Hoskins, Rosemary Murphy, Jane and Robert Johnstone, Marion Dowds, Gail Embelton, Donal McCollum, Ilene and Mike Robinson, Nancy Sherman, Ron Ryerse, Lou VanSickle, Sandra Brown, Jim Bell, Peter Ryerse, Nora and Ella Taylor, Terri Wamsley, Gary White, Doug Archibald, Phil and Linda Adams, Dorothy Cline, Carolyn Reid, Jody Overend, Tory Overend, Cate Overend, and others not confirmed at press time.
Festival Chair Overend reported to The Maple Leaf on Monday, “we always need more volunteers during the Festival.” She also stated there are vacancies on the Summer Festival Committee as they look forward to next year’s Festival and beyond. She can be contacted by phone at 519-583-1314, or stop by the Board of Trade’s office on Market Street to get the details.


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