Fans Pour into Ontario Dance & Fiddle Festival
Hundreds of campers and RVs rolled into Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, Sunday (Aug. 11) as the town's 17th Annual Step Dance and Fiddle Festival got underway.
“There will be 550 or 600 trailers here by the end of the week,” said Festival Chairman Charlie Lang, noting some 250 rigs had already arrived before 11 a.m. at the Goulard Park grounds outside the recreation center and nearby Lang Park across Highway 17, the North Bay Nugget reported.
The corralling of all of the trailers onto the festival grounds is a task in itself, although after 17 years, organizers have nearly got it down to a science.
“It used to be easier to pack them all in,” said Lang, noting that in the early years of the festival trailers were commonly only eight feet long.
Today, he said 40-foot trailers are not uncommon.
The two trailer park sites will be home to old-time music and step dancing fans for the next week as the town rolls out the red carpet offering visitors a full slate of events and performances each day leading up to the step dance and fiddle competitions which kick off Friday.
“You just can't take it all in,” said Lang, noting so much goes on that it would be virtually impossible to take part in every activity. “The whole community is involved.”
Lang said this week is a popular homecoming time for many people in the community who organize family reunions around the festival. In addition to those who camp at the festival grounds, he said local hotel and campgrounds fill up, not to mention “day-trippers” who come from North Bay and Sudbury to take in the festival.
“I think it's the ambiance and the hospitality,” said Lang, referring to the secret of the event's success.