“Amusement park rides, food and cold beer. July 25 through 27 is just so near.” A line taken from the hit rap song performed by DJ Cold Beer and DJ Cotton Candy on the Taz show when FM96 were here for our big ‘Best Small Town’ win a few months ago.
This year, Co-Chairmen Chris Swarthout and Darcy Aaron Lemon have the pleasure of piecing together what is always a great community event. “It takes about 600 man hours to plan and run the annual Summerfest event,” says Swarthout. “It’s a huge responsibility and liability for the club. But, without it, we wouldn’t be able to meet our yearly commitments (donations). None of our members are paid. We are volunteers raising money for our community’s greatest needs.” The St. Marys Kinsmen Club has been granted a noise bylaw exemption and can legally play music until 1am. They were also granted “municipal significance,” considering all the money raised goes directly back into our community.
“Summerfest is the most fun you’ll have all summer. It’s definitely the party of the year,” Says co-chairman Darcy Aaron Lemon.
The St. Marys Kinsmen Club sponsors almost every minor sports team in town. They also give money to the DCVI educational bursary every year. They just finished their $100,000 ($10,000 a year for 10 years) contribution to the St. Marys Pyramid Centre. Currently, they’re wrapping up their $25,000 ($5000 a year for 5 years) donation to the St. Marys Memorial Hospital’s ‘Someone I Know” campaign. They’ve also given almost $10,000 to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, earmarked for a pavilion the hall of fame plans to build on site.
Do you like playing tennis? They donated $5,000 for the purpose of resurfacing the tennis courts. Other contributions include, $1,000 a year to the St. Marys Lincolns hockey team. $1000 a year to the St. Marys Mobility Bus service. They also donate money to the United Way and other worth-while causes in town.
All the money the St. Marys Kinsmen Club raise goes toward local initiatives and stays in our community. They also back their main charity, raising money for Cystic Fibrosis. So that means every beer you buy and every time you pay a cover charge to get into Summerfest, you’re helping your community.
Now for the fun part: This year, the St. Marys Kinsmen Club is proud to bring back Sammie’s Souvlaki and The Sunset Shack for the foodies in town. Sammie’s will be open during the operating hours of the fair. Sunset Shack will be taking care of the after-hours portion and will be located in the refreshment tent.
Thursday night, Steph and the Road Hounds take the stage at 7pm. They will be finishing their set by 11pm. After 11pm, there will be a “dance party” inside the tent to try to cut down on the noise that travels throughout town, but that’s only the Thursday night.
Friday night, Swagger hits the stage at 9pm-1am. They’re a party band playing all the songs you want to hear on a Friday night. 8-9pm we have the country stylings of Mitchell based, Chris Mabb. His original Country-Folk based music will please your ears. Before Chris Mabb goes on, they will be hosting the ever popular open mic from 6-8pm. Your host, Stephanie Martin will be more than happy to get you to the stage. Musicians will be chosen on a first come first served basis.
Saturday is the big one. Stephanie Martin’s Student Showcase takes the stage from 2-4pm. Come out and watch these talented youth strut their stuff in a professional setting. It’s always entertaining. 4-8pm we have open mic again on a first come first serve basis. Special guest appearance by Adapt To Survive to kick off the open mic experience. And now…Headlining Saturday night is local favourites Corduroy Gordon, playing their style of mashed up rock and rap with folk undertones. They will hit the stage at 9pm-1am. It’s a great line up again this year and you don’t want to miss out.
Returning this year we have Shindig, Bud, Bud Light, Coors Light, Twisted Teas and Palm Bays available in our licensed refreshment tent to enjoy while taking in all of our live entertainment. Along with the usual suspects – whisky, vodka, rum and yes, water and pop will be available too.
For a special limited-time-only treat this year, we have tall cans of Wasaga Brewing Company’s #1 Cerveza available during the afternoon/early evening portion of Summerfest. It’s a tall can and it’s known as the “Kin Can.” It’s a limited-time beer that features both Kin Canada’s logo and Cystic Fibrosis’ logo. For each case of beer purchased, $10 is donated back to Cystic Fibrosis in the club’s name. What a great way to raise money and awareness. A special shout out to Wasaga Beach Brewing Company for being super generous. Also, this beer will be available at Harris Electric Eatery, for a limited time, as of Wednesday, July 24. Thanks so much to Jordy Carr for helping promote the “Kin Can” experience.
We will also provide a responsible ride home for our patrons who would like to use our bus, within town limits. It will be available all three nights.
“So come on down to Summerfest. This year the Kinsmen have brought the best amusement park rides, food, cold beer. July 25 thru 27 is just so near!” raps, DJ Cold Beer and DJ Cotton Candy. Let’s have a good time, be kind to one another and please drink responsibly. Support the St. Marys Kinsmen Club and YOUR community.