Cel­e­bra­tion

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BUR­TON K. JANES

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.

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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.

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