Johnny Miles Festival
Annual summer event kicks off Thursday.
An annual festival celebrating the life of a hometown hero begins on Thursday.
The 15th annual Johnny Miles Festival will continue until Sunday in Sydney Mines with community events scheduled throughout the four days. The event remembers Miles, a two-time winner of the Boston Marathon in 1926 and again in 1929.
Festival chair Eugene Ramsey believes this year’s event will be more exciting for residents than in previous years.
“We have some new things going on, but we are doing things in a different way and we hope that it’s going to make a difference,” said Ramsey.
Although the festival will feature many of the same events as previous years, new events include Touch A Truck, a Canadian 150 workshop as well as Caper Con.
Aside from the community events, the festival itself is built around the annual Johnny Miles 5K Memorial Road Race.
“We concentrate on the race more then anything, there is a lot of work that goes into the race … the race comes before the festival,” said Ramsey.
The road race will take place on Saturday with registration set for 9 a.m. at the John J. Nugent Firemen’s Centre with the race starting at 10 a.m.
Festival co-ordinator Kim Rideout said the road race has been well attended in previous years.
“It’s extremely important to continue this race because Johnny is such a huge part of our legacy and history here in Sydney Mines,” she said. “Johnny is certainly somebody who we can all look up to.”
“The race is very unique because it’s one that’s held in Johnny’s hometown where it all began for him, where he ran the rails to practise and where he boarded the train (to the Boston Marathon) with the support of his community,” said Rideout.
The festival will wrap up Sunday with a closing concert at Pitt Street Ball Field, followed by fireworks.
For more information on the Johnny Miles Festival visit www.johnnymilesfestival.com or phone the festival office at 902-549-0087.
Organizers of the annual Johnny Miles Festival hold the festival banner while making final preparations on Tuesday. The festival, in memory of hometown hero Johnny Miles, will begin on Thursday. From left, front, Melvin Bond, Merdina Bond, Kim Rideout, Jean Ramsey, Kiersten Penny and Eugene Ramsey; back, Martin Pickup, Shawn Magnan and Caiden MacKinnon.