Ice Jam on track
17th annual Johnny Miles event set for Feb. 19 in Sydney Mines
Plans are well underway for the annual Ice Jam music event later this month.
The 17th annual fundraiser is sponsored by the Johnny Miles Community Society and is one of a number of events put on each year in support of the Johnny Miles Festival in Sydney Mines.
This year’s event will take place on Feb. 19 from 5 p.m.-1 a.m. at the Sydney Mines Legion, featuring eight bands and a variety of music by local talent.
“One of the main reasons why we do this Ice Jam is that it gives people a break from the winter,” said volunteer society member Eugene Ramsey. “It gives them something to look forward to and something for them to do.”
The annual Johnny Miles Festival pays tribute to the famous runner and former Sydney Mines resident.
Miles won the hearts of many Canadians, winning the Boston Marathon in 1926, the first of two titles from the U.S. event. He also represented Canada twice at the Olympics before retiring to work with International Harvesters.
Ramsey said the Ice Jam is important.
“It’s for the festival and it keeps the name Johnny Miles out there,” he said. “We do several events a year and this one kind of primes people up for the Johnny Miles Festival, because they have already been to the Ice Jam. It’s important to keep the name going and to keep the festival society working all the time.”
Although there aren’t many changes to this year’s event from previous years, the one change is the time. This year’s fundraiser will run until 1 a.m. because Heritage Day, Nova Scotia’s February holiday, falls on Feb. 20.
“We’ve flipped it many different ways, but there’s not a lot we can do to make a big difference in changing it,” said Ramsey. “It’s basically an evening of music and fun for everyone.”
Ramsey said the event continues to be popular each year.
“We’ve been doing this for a number of years now and it seems to work out well for us — people really love it,” he said. “We use to do it from 2 p.m. to 12 a.m., but that was a long day for the workers.”
Ramsey said the society is always looking for volunteers to help with events like the Ice Jam.
“When we look for people to volunteer, we look for responsible and reliable people from any age group,” he said. “It’s not hard work, mostly what you do is you sell tickets or help with door prizes, it’s not hard work, anybody can do it – they don’t have to volunteer for the whole day, it’s two-hour shifts.”
Although the dates for this year’s Johnny Miles Festival haven’t been confirmed, it’s expected to take place in early August. Ramsey said once the Ice Jam is over, the committee will begin planning for the summer festival, including confirming the dates.
Tickets for the Ice Jam are expected to go on sale to the public next week. Tickets will be available at Ramsey Woodworking on Fraser Avenue in Sydney Mines as well as the Sydney Mines Pensioners Club or from any committee members. Tickets will also be available at the door on the day of the event.
Ramsey is encouraging everyone to attend the mid-winter function.
“We are looking forward to seeing you all at the Ice Jam,” said Ramsey.
For more information or to volunteer for the Ice Jam, contact Ramsey at 902-736-8739 or Merdina Bond at 902-736-6013.