Elly on the Arts: Trout Festival takes centre stage

We are all about Trout this week in Flin Flon, Creighton and Denare Beach.

Trout Festival is our big kick-off for summer fun, although the Main ARTery opening gala gave it a bit of competition last week. Trout Festival has been a summer staple in Flin Flon for 69 years and has seen ebbs and flows of popularity, usually in response to the perceived fortunes or disappointments of the mining company over its many years. Gone are the days of Queen Mermaids and flour-packing contests (thankfully, some would say) but other, totally fun items remain, if in modified formats.

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There will still be a fishing derby complete with prizes which has already begun and will wind up at the festival. Canoe races will still happen on Ross Lake and a small midway will be set up on Main Street to give kids and their parents thrills. And there’s still the Fish Fry at the Whitney Forum Saturday, June 29 starring Winnipeg band Mother Groove.

Prior to the Fish Fry, there is Fish and “Chips” – a pickerel dinner to be served in two sittings, 5:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Whitney Forum, with ‘Casino Royale’ to follow. Blackjack and other games of chance will be on offer, with classy dealers handling the (pretend) money. Tickets for both these events are $20 each and available at Northern Rainbow’s End until Friday.

There is loads of family fun as well, with Main Street Days on Saturday and Sunday, which will include local entertainers performing on the Main Street stage from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. There’s plenty of room to sit under the tent and enjoy something to eat or drink, safe from whatever the weather provides; scorching sunshine or pouring rain. A juggler from Ontario will perform both on the stage and in the street, while the classic cars club will be out in force with their wonderful vintage machines polished up and on display.

In the early evening hours, there will be a family dance in Pioneer Square hosted by the Flin Flon Aboriginal Friendship Centre’s youth group, who will be serving kid treats for a nominal amount to help their fundraising efforts.

The Canada Day Parade will take place on July 1, leaving Green Street and Pine Avenue at 11 a.m. and winding its way uptown via Green Street, Highway 10A, Channing Drive, and Third Avenue to First Avenue, then Main Street. This is an all-star event with homemade floats, classic cars, every politician who could be roped in and, of course, Flinty waving at the crowds who line the sidewalks. The town of Creighton will host the afternoon festivities on the large field by Creighton Community School.

In the early days, the street would be full of people for two whole days and events felt new and fresh. Over the years, that changed and people, dare we say, lost their innocence. But they also matured and grew in knowledge and respect for others, so we don’t do “bathing beauties” any more.

The memories of Trout Festival should be renewed though, every year, as our summer “thing.” We love Trout Festival and can hardly wait until the planning starts for the 70th next year.

One last thing to remember is Daniel Dillon’s photography show at the NorVA Centre at 177 Green Street. It will be coming down soon and should not be missed. It pays tribute to the heroes among us who fight fires. The photographs are startling in their realism and are very emotional viewing. Dillon has a good eye and clearly edited the exhibit together to provide some respite for the viewer towards the end. It deserves to be seen and is free at the gallery from Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. You may purchase a photo for the exceptionally low cost of $20, with all proceeds going to support volunteer firefighters’ charities.

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