The Second annual Lakes and Trails Festival took place on July 14, 2018 at the Point Park in Sydenham. The participant evaluations (56) and comments from the volunteers were overwhelmingly positive.
There were 405 registered participants, up from an estimated 385 last year. 230 came from South Frontenac, 172 from outside the Township and 3 did not state a location. When asked at registration what their main activity interests were 103 said cycling, 102 paddling, 87 the historic walk, music and 38 other. Many did not enter an interest and many entered more than one.
Most participants heard about the Festival from family or friends (116), 63 identified Facebook as their source of information, followed by posters (36) and newspapers (32).
The event focused on four main components: cycling, boating, the historic walk and music.
The main cycling feature was an Around the Lake bike lead by South Frontenac Rides. Approximately 45 people took part in one of the 21, 36 and 44-kilometer bike loops. Another 25 joined the “Family Cycle”, 8 kilometers out and back on the Cataraqui trail. The Cycle Skills competition was busy for the whole morning and ran overtime. Similarly, use of the cycle repair station and the helmet fitting service was steady. The bike parking was less well used.
Boating started slowly but picked up with dozens using boats supplied by Frontenac Outfitters for short personal trips supervised by the Sydenham Canoe Club. Many people also participated by swimming at the Point.
The Kingston Dragon Boat Club was unable to participate this year due to scheduling conflict. The Cataraqui Canoe Club lead a trip on the lake with 15 boats participating.
The walking event was a historic 3-kilometre walking tour of Sydenham, including a stretch on the Cataraqui Trail and in downtown Sydenham. Five historic interpreters, dressed in period costumes, met participants at set locations and told stories about different aspects of Sydenham’s history. The crowds were large and went on after the formal closure of the event.
Gary Raspberry, a children’s performer, lead a rapt audience of about 40 in a hour long performance under a tree on the Point. The afternoon “Music-on-Mill Street” was attended by about 50 over the two hours. It was hot with little shade. The music was enjoyed by those that came and others that passed by.
The food was beef on a bun and salads organized by volunteers working South Frontenac Community services. Trousdale’s General store provided ice cream for all participants. There was enough food and service was well organized and generally received favourable comments.
Organizations that set up booths at the event included, The County of Frontenac; South Frontenac Township; The Cataraqui Conservation Authority; the Kingston Frontenac Public Library -which organized giant lawn games for children; The Cataraqui Canoe Club; The Rideau Trail; The Kingston Field Naturalists; Reptile Rescue Kingston; Frontenac Provincial Park; Kingston Frontenac Public Health Unit; and South Frontenac Community Services.
The results of this survey indicate that the Festival had resonance both as a local community celebration and as an attraction drawing people from Kingston and farther a field to South Frontenac.
The sponsors, monetary and in kind, for the 2018 event were:
Barb’s Handmade Pierogi
Cataraque Canoe Club
DFC BBQ Sauce
KFL+A Public Health Unit
Lanherne Technology INC.
Linden Tree Bed and Breakfast
Memory Lane Florists
One Stop Convenience
RBC Sydenham Branch
South Frontenac Township
South Frontenac Community Services
South Frontenac Fire and Rescue
South Frontenac Rides
Sydenham Canoe Club
Sydenham Medical Clinic
Sydenham Pet&Farm Supply
Sydenham Veterinary Services
Trousdale’s General Store
Trousdale’s Funeral Home
It is important to mention significant support from Frontenac Outfitters who staffed and organized the boat trials, KFL+A Public Health that donated water bottles and provided generous logistical support and printing, South Frontenac Township that donated staff time and facilities, Trousdale’s General Store that provided staff, ice cream and organized the Music-on-Mill Street, South Frontenac Community Services’ who prepared the food, Wilma Kenny and the volunteers who organized the historic Walk, and South Frontenac Rides and the Sydenham Canoe Club who were central to the paddling and cycling events.
An eventuation meeting will be held in the fall. If you are interested n attending please contact the Festival. The tentative date for next year’s Festival is July 20, 2019