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A heroic, patriotic Chalk River winter carnival

By Sean Chase, The Daily Observer


CHALK RIVER – With Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam failing to see his shadow, North Renfrew residents celebrated what’s left of winter over the weekend before the snow begins to melt.

Certainly it didn’t feel spring was coming as frosty temperatures challenged those attending the 38th annual Chalk River and Area Lions Winter Carnival. Once more the Chalk River Lions Club offered up wide slate of indoor and outdoor events with festivities kicking off with the popular carnival parade.

While the number of floats this year was modest, the spirit of the parade participants wasn’t. Led by the Laurentian Hills Fire Department, the procession from the Royal Canadian Legion to the Lions Hall boasted displays of true winter Canadiana, including folks dressed up as shantymen and trappers. Other chose to cheer on Team Canada at the upcoming Winter Olympics by wearing hockey jerseys and waving the Maple Leaf.

Organizers said that other events on the schedule, including the Pancake and Sausage, the North Renfrew Snowmobile Poker Run and the Steven Anthony Magic Show, were well attended. A crowd of 200 came out on Friday night for the spaghetti dinner which was catered and donated by Ulrich’s. Saturday night featured the Absolute Comedy Show and Dance with the Ghost Town Cryers headlining. One major change this year was the absence of the outdoor games which usually included nail driving, log sawing and obstacle bed racing.

“We are taking a break from that,” said event co-ordinator Eileen Burke adding it wasn’t due to a drop in attendance at the games but that they wanted to focus on indoor activities for the younger ages. “We’ll bring it back next year.”

The “IP” Hockey Fun Day was once more the highlight of the weekend. Crowds of moms, dads and grandparents, lined the outdoor rink to cheer on their child. Teams hailing from Deep River and Petawawa participated in games that featured three different age levels. The Deep River Minor Hockey Initiation Program is the first opportunity for kids to learn and play the game of hockey. Each year the local Deep River Tim Hortons Timbit program ensures that all kids aged four to six years old, are equipped with a jersey, socks, and pucks for the regular season as well as medals for each player at the end of the season.

“They just come out and experience outdoor hockey like it was when we were kids,” said program co-ordinator Nick Christian. “This is a throwback to that old pond hockey. The kids are just happy to be part of the carnival and enjoy this additional experience.”

The following were entries in the Parade who chose to share the prize money:

Shamrock Stables – Tracy Taylor, Carter’s Scoop and Poop, Town Council/Nursery School, Jamie Bailey, Sean Fitzpatrick and the Chalk River Recreation Department. In the North Renfrew Snowmobile Poker Run, the first place winner was Glen Bragg, followed by second place winner Chris Lapierre and third place winner Nathalie Cochrane.

In the Charlie Goyette Euchre Tournament, Jim Morel took first place in the men's competiton, followed by second place Andrew Laplante and third place Bill McKay, who was also the loner. In the women's competition, Patsy Morash claimed first place, followed by second place Linda Goyette and third place Jodie Primeau. The loner was Edith Oulette. 

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