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Athol Day family fun returns at Cherry Valley Park

Story and photos by Sharon Harrison
Athol Day has been on a long hiatus but was back with a bang with a new format boasting a host of activities, games and fun things to do, see, watch and eat Sunday in Cherry Valley. While  the community fun event, hosted by the Athol Recreation Committee, was free of charge for everyone (although a $5 donation was appreciated), specific events, such as the dog show and pie throwing, came with a nominal fee for a great cause. It is intended that all funds raised, and all donations received, will go to help spruce up the school yard at Athol-South Marysburgh Public School.

Held at the Cherry Valley Memorial Park on County Road 10, the beautifully sunny late-summer afternoon’s live musical contribution included Athol’s Jeremy Kelly, and there was plenty to eat, with a barbeque that proved popular throughout the entire afternoon.

A half-hour show by KiKi the Outrageous! had the audience oohing and aahing as she performed twirls and twists and spins all with hula hoops, and with as many as 20 at one time.

Following the show was a 30-minute hula hooping workshop where folks could learn some of moves and neat tricks, helped and encouraged by KiKi.

There were giant inflatables for the kids to climb up and slide down, as well as bounce on, including inflatable jousting, which, it turned out, was a lot harder to do than it looked.

There really was something for every member of the family as the extraordinary afternoon included balloon twisting, face painting, and there were even some very neat, and very big, farm equipment to explore and sit on provided by CherryVale Farm, Daniel Prinzen and Wiersta Farms.

The idea was to celebrate the local Athol farming community, and its important role in the history and culture of Prince Edward County.

A number of pooches, from the tiniest four-legged companion to the largest German shepherd, entered the dog show, where there were 13 categories, including best costume, best singer, longest ears, most unique eyes, most waggy tail and the tallest/largest, among them. While Monty amassed ribbons for longest ears, longest tail, and largest dog, best in Athol show was won by Louis. The exemplary winning choices were made by the young judging panel consisting of half a dozen students from Athol-South Marysburgh school.

Many couldn’t resist the opportunity of chucking a pie at Athol councillor Sam Branderhorst – who bravely volunteered for the role.

While councillor Branderhorst appeared to happily willingly and generously take a messy cream pie in the face, she did however have company as she was joined by another good sport, Heather McMaster, Athol-South Marysburgh Public School principal.

The pie throwing contest was decided by the purchase of raffle tickets (a toonie a ticket) with the lucky ticket choosing whether the pie should be directed at Branderhorst or McMaster – the winner chose Branderhorst. The second ticket winner enjoyed tossing another cream pie directly in the face of McMaster, in what proved to be a funny and fun event for the large gathered crowd.

The audience also enjoyed watching the pie eating contest – this time with cherry pies, of course.

Here, there were three separate groups of contestants, two catering to children in different age groups, and one to adults, all of whom came away with very cherry red faces after the messy exercise.

The winner in the first children’s age group was seven-year-old Magnus from Cherry Valley who appeared to almost eat the entire pie during the allotted 90 seconds of eating (with no hands allowed).

The winner of the second age group was a close one, where the judges had three very close candidates, and were going to call a tie, where the final decision was made and went to winner Damien, age 10.

Six adults (all men) stepped up for the adult category for the pie eating contest, with Russell the clear winner.

The fun, family and community event brought lots of laughter, smiles, eating and not only welcomed great weather, but great attendance too. Organizers guesstimate around 300 attendees during the course of the afternoon.

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  1. Alison K says:

    What an excellent recap of a Fantastic day!

  2. Paul D Cole says:

    Sad I missed this event, but it’s great to know the tradition is back and continuing. Grandpa’s Goodtime Gang(Band) will be greatly missed at Athol Day, Maybe just maybe a reunion could happen next year. wink wink nod nod..

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