Festival of Nations returns
Will take place in Tecumseh Park as part of Canada Day celebrations
Absent for two decades, the Festival of Nations will return to Tecumseh Park this summer as part of celebrations surrounding Canada Day.
The announcement was made Friday afternoon for the event, which attracted thousands of visitors to the park during its 13-year run that ended in 1998.
Tracy Callaghan and Dava Robichaud will co-chair the festival, according to a media release.
Callaghan said her work with Adult Language and Learning has exposed her to the many cultures that make up Canada.
“I was involved with Canada Day several years ago and I remember how popular it was,” she said in the release. “I’m excited to be a part of the team.”
Robichaud expects a busy downtown area and Canada’s birthday celebrations will be a good combination.
“Chatham-Kent residents have shown they will support events such as this and I believe we can have a positive impact on the community,” she said. “I’m excited to be part of bringing back this event that many people will now have the opportunity to share with their children, passing on a tradition so many have previously enjoyed.”
The group is in the process of setting exact dates for the event and will put out a call for volunteers in the near future.
The original festival took place over several days, featuring food and cultural displays along with entertainment. Former mayor Bill Erickson chaired it for many years.
Don Kiekens, who chaired last year’s Canada Day event, said he welcomes the return of the the festival.
“The more we can do to celebrate Canada’s heritage, the better,” he said. “Having the different activities brought by the Festival of Nations will make for a better experience for everyone.”
Mayor Darrin Canniff said he is happy with the reception from the Canada Day group.
He believes the festival will be an asset to the community.
“We are not here to steal anyone’s thunder but to help grow the events that have been taking place,” he said. “The Festival of Nations was extremely popular and highlighted the cultures that have built Canada into the nation it is today.”
Michelle Wright thrilled local fans when she performed at the Festival of Nations in June of 2001. It was announced on Friday the popular community event is going to return this summer.