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Consecon’s 10th celebration was by, and for, the community

One of the afternoon’s sack races saw 13 children take part in the fun activity.

Story and photos by Sharon Harrison
The little hamlet of Consecon celebrated 10 years of Community Days with a jam-packed day of events and activities for the whole family, Saturday.

Organized by the community for the community, the event was run by Consecon Area Ratepayers Association members and community volunteers, and sponsored by the Ameliasburgh Recreation Committee.

Consecon resident Bill McMahon was wearing two hats both as a volunteer and as an Ameliasburgh councillor.

“I was an organizer for eight years and the last two years, I’ve pretty much backed off and let other people take over, but I’m still a volunteer,” said McMahon. “I decided to get back in because I’m not totally happy with the way it has turned out,” said McMahon.

He said the event changes over the years, and the current version, which began a decade ago, is a resurrection of the annual Consecon Day they used to have prior to amalgamation.

“It’s an organic type of thing; we try different things and if they don’t work, we try something completely different.”

He noted the problem this year was the lack of volunteers willing to step up which meant the soap box derby, which has been held every year for the last nine years, had to be cancelled.

McMahon said last year the derby attracted 60-65 kids – a highlight for the middle of the afternoon.

He is hopeful next year the volunteers and the derby will return. But McMahon admits it’s a lot of work for volunteers who spend three or four hours standing out in the sun, putting the cars up on the ramps, calling names and numbers, starting the races, and so on.

At least eight people are needed to put the soap box derby on and McMahon encourages anyone interested in helping out next year to reach out by calling 613-965-1877.

“Volunteers keep the County going, but people are burning out,” he said.

Even without the derby, there was still plenty to do.

Consecon residents Mylee Graham with daughter Jaime, age 7, paint a bee box together.

The day featured Art on the Lawn at various locations with displays and demonstrations, an artisan market, an indoor yard sale and baked goods at the United Church, and a used book sale and kids’ crafts at the library. Some of the town’s residents held community yard sales, and there were lawn games and kids’ cupcake decorating too.

Randy Krahn of Consecon Honey House brought honeycomb for tasting.

Randy Krahn, of the Consecon Honey House, has 40 hives scattered around the County. He brought fresh honeycomb for people to see and taste. He also organized bee box painting for children (and adults), where each box received its own unique design and colour scheme.

A fun fly by the Bay of Quinte Aeromodellers, held in conjunction with Consecon Community Day, at nearby Bob Corner Airfield.

While most of the day’s events were centred around Consecon’s core of Mill Street, those venturing to nearby Stinson Block Road could find the Bay of Quinte Aeromodellers. The fun fly, swap meet and barbecue was held at Bob Corner Airfield in conjunction with Consecon Community Day and featured a number of the club’s members demonstrating flying skills.

Model planes soared, twisted and turned, some effortlessly completing high-speed turns – reaching speeds of up to 80 mph – under a clear blue sky, making it all look so easy from the ground.

Ameliasburgh resident Michael McMahon (no relation to Bill McMahon) has been a member of the club since 1989 and calls the hobby a fixation.

“I started building model planes when I was about 10. I am 72 now,” said McMahon. “In those days, it was balsa and tissue paper and no radio control.”

McMahon said he got started with gliders and is still flying gliders, but noted they are much bigger now and have radio-control systems.

“I was flying earlier today, riding thermals and you can stay up for hours,” he said. “We were soaring with hawks, or maybe they were turkey vultures, but there were seven of them that joined us in the thermal and that was really cool.”

“These models here are aerobatic models and they are flying various maneuvers. It takes a while to learn how to fly them.”

The Bay of Quinte Aeromodellers is an active club that has been around since the 1950s said McMahon. Most of the members are retired, but they would welcome some younger members.

“In terms of cost, it is way cheaper than playing golf,” said McMahon.

While some of the members build their own planes, some build them prefabbed, and there’s a growing number of injected molded Styrofoam models he said.

“I like designing and building, that’s what I enjoy, and sometimes I find the winters too short, because spring’s here already and my aeroplanes aren’t done.”

McMahon said there are safety rules in place with a designated area where the aircraft can fly and where the pilots stand, and they have a 400-foot height restriction – exceed that and Trenton radar will see you he said.

“The planes get pretty tiny at that height, so there’s not much reason to go that high.”

A big draw back on Mill Street was the kids’ zone behind the Royal Canadian Legion, overlooking the water.

Hayden Jenkins, age 4, took a dunking as she tried out the little kid’s version of a dunk tank.

Children, and a few grown-ups, couldn’t get enough of the cannon ball drop as many walked away soaked to their skin, only to return for a further drenching. Sack races and games including a giant Connect 4, and face painting kept the kids amused for hours, and along with free hot dogs, burgers and cotton candy, tummies were happy too.

Balloon artist Christopher the Twistopher completes a request for a spider balloon.

Professional balloon artist Christopher the Twistopher’s talents were in demand as he patiently took requests from the 100-plus unique designs in his repertoire. After deciding upon a design (usually an animal of some kind), the next decision was the colour or colours from the many on offer. The often cute and always colourful creations were free to take home.

Consecon Community-made banners decorated the street, each painted on this year’s theme of wildlife. The year-round outdoor exhibit changes every year with newly painted banners and a new theme.

The day’s activities continued well into the evening with a pig roast dinner at the Consecon branch legion, followed by a street dance to Monty and Friends.

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