The people of Bay Roberts had 25,000 good reasons to celebrate during the Kraft Celebration Tour last weekend.
The Wilbur Sparkes Recreation Complex in Bay Roberts was transformed into a kaleidoscope of sights, smells and sounds on Aug. 20. TSN and the Kraft Celebration Tour were in town for a day of family fun and entertainment.
The purpose of their visit was to help Bay Roberts celebrate its win in the recent Kraft Celebration Tour. The town was added to the Tour after winning a national head-tohead online vote over Stephenville.
A crowd, estimated at 1,2001,400, thronged onto the field to seize the moment.
“ I’m excited,” admitted Philip Wood, deputy mayor. “I think it does great wonders for the town and the entire area.”
The winning package included a grand prize of $ 25,000 for Bay Roberts. The funds will be used as a community refresh, to help defray the cost of installing lights around the outdoor walking track at the recreation complex.
The celebrations marked the completion of yet another piece of the recreation complex puzzle, said Major Glen Littlejohn.
“It will provide an opportunity for people to walk and young kids to become physically active and play whatever they want (at night),” he added.
Long time former mayor Wilbur Sparkes, after whome the recreation complex is named, mingled with the enthusiastic crowd.
“I’m proud of what we’ve been doing for the last number of years. It’s been a gradual progression,” Sparkes said.
Children especially were anxious to take part in the scheduled activities, including jumping castles, carnival games and sports events. Not surprisingly, a free barbecue, along with other delectables, were crowd pleasers. Live musical entertainment added to the festive atmosphere of the evening.
The highlight of the celebrations was when TSN anchors, Darren Dutchushen and Kennifer Hedger, hosted a live broadcast of SportsCentre. The segment was devoted to Bay Roberts and its winning. The crowd had been worked up in advance to belt out celebratory cheers.
Fireworks ended evening’s festivities.
“ We didn’t have any of this when I grew up. This is great,” said Wilbur Sparkes.
“It’s a nice way to end the summer as we lead into school,” added Wood.
TSN SportsCentre anchors Jennifer Hedger and Darren Dutchyshen could be viewed on a large screen on the field. Right: Eight-year-old Ethan Kavanagh-Day of Shearstown displaying the figurineshaped balloon created by Mr. Twister. Two-year-old Leah Quinlan and her brother Andrew, aged 4, sharing a seat. They are from St. John’s, but were visiting family in Bay Roberts. Five-year-old Emily Fong of Clarke’s Beach proudly displaying the 10 in 10 flag. She was on the field with her mother, Tanya.
Part of the crowd at the Wilbur Sparkes Recreation Complex for the live broadcast of SportsCentre on TSN on Friday night, Aug. 20.
Wilbur Sparkes, after whom the recreation complex is named, was in attendance and expressed delight with what has been accomplished in the venue.