Fish Festival has special meaning with 1812 add-ons


By Mark Ribble, Leamington Post

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hundreds of pounds of fresh Lake Erie yellow perch will be served up this weekend as the Wheatley Fish Festival kicks off and runs through the holiday Monday.

This year’s festival is bigger and better than ever, with additional events planned to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

This year also marks the 80th year of the Old Boys and Girls Reunion, which is celebrated every 10 years along with the Fish Festival.

“We expect a big turnout this year,” says vice chair Sue Adamson.

The weekend kicks off Friday, August 3 with various crafters and artists at Coulter Park. Jody Raffoul performs there from 7-10 pm. There is also an adult dance at Wheatley arena featuring Whiskey Rain.

Saturday, things really heat up with the annual breakfast at the Legion from 8-11 am. The popular Fish Festival Parade runs from the arena to Middleton Line at 11 am.

Coulter Park will be busy with many children’s activities and family events. The annual smoked fish contest is always popular as well.

The Friendship Club on Erie Street is the site of several displays including the Old BOYS class Reunion at 2 pm. Classic cars will be in display as well at Coulter Park.

Talbot Trail Golf Club will host the annual Par 3 Sheephead Golf Tournament at 2:30 pm.

The famous yellow perch and broasted chicken dinner will take place Saturday as well, from 5-7:30 at the arena, followed by dancing with Whiskey Rain and Jody Raffoul.

A ghost parade at 11:59 pm adds to the unique weekend.

On Sunday, the fun continues with yet another breakfast, the fishing tournament finals, which began last weekend, and the annual Wheatley Idol contest at Two Creeks Consevation Area.

On the holiday Monday, the War of 1812 bicentennial will be celebrated with a Brock’s Landing re-enactment east of Wheatley harbour along the shoreline at noon. This landing will be five days short of the actual date Brock and his crew landed at Wheatley for boat repairs. The location is almost exactly where they put in and still untouched after 200 years. The Provincial Marine will be dressed in period uniforms and re-enact the landing. ‘General Brock’ will mingle and give a short address while music by Dale Butler and Dave and Sharon Light plays in the background. A perch luncheon will follow at the Wheatley Legion to wrap up the weekend.

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