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Sept 6, 2017



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Cornfest Parade participant Victoria De Kroon took first place for best biker this year. Photo: Sally Smid


Cornfest fills village with family fun


By Sally Smid

Just because Farmersville’s name changed to Athens does not mean that it’s rural roots are ever forgotten and that is especially evident at the annual Cornfest in August. Familiar threatening clouds failed to produce rain and it was again a day packed with family fun, entertainment and great food, the favourite being fresh hot buttered corn supplied this year by local farmer Neil Banks. Other eateries offered “corny specials” as well.  New this year was a free 55 foot zip line on Main St.  The Children’s Parade is always a highlight and brings out Athens’ true country spirit, giving families a chance to creatively decorate their bikes  and wagons and dress up in “corny fashions”.  The parade wound down a closed Main St. the site of a variety of displays including cars, boats, a corn combine, an Athens Fire Dept extrication, and Karate demonstrations.  Activities for families and kids included paint ball, zorb soccer, a Thomas activity, bowling station, face painting a petting zoo with pony rides, bouncy castles, a rock climbing wall, and scarecrow making. Kids could also enjoy shows like Dr. Kaboom, Ry-Guy Magic, Jerry’s Music, and Ray’s Reptiles and Rainforest.  As usual the day featured “corntinuous music” including Sue Prosser, Tom Wilson, Athens Idol, Katie and Friends and the Brockville Steel Band.  It is amazing to realize that almost everything is paid for by local sponsors and is free of charge! Memorial Park was the site of many crafts and vendors as well as a “corny bingo”.  The “Old Time Country Auction”, hot corn, weekly Bingo canteen sales, and 50-50 draw help fund Cornfest. This year’s draw winner was Jane Kaschube of Dixie Rd. who received a prize of $1679.

The Athens Library hosted a successful book, DVD and toy sale and the Museum was kept busy with visitors all day. Local organizations were on hand to take advantage of a variety of fund raising options. The annual Athens Truck Show in the nearby Centennial Park fairgrounds helped to draw crowds. As most community members know Pat Blanchard’s dedication and effort has kept the event alive over these many years and she now works alongside committee members Walter Schaafsma, Rod Cowan, and Melanie Kavanaugh and many other volunteers and sponsors that help to make the day such an annual success.  All are certainly to be “corn-gratulated”!

Cornfest Winners:


1st: Corncob Rodeo Kids

2nd: Cornfest Criminals   

3rd: Sparky’s Fire Dept.  


1st: Victoria De Kroon 

2nd: Caden Turcotte      

3rd: Clarity Earl            


1st: Kieran Jenner                   

2nd: Rosa De Pena Reyes 

3rd: Molly Johnston         

Scare Crow Contest:

1st: Tammy, Alison and Jayce Sands                  

2nd: Carleigh Fitzpatrick and Morgan Coleman.





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Tackaberry’s Kenworth Trucks were another highlight of the recent Athens Truck Show. Photo: Sally Smid


Truck show draws enthusiasts and spectators


By Sally Smid

Athens again became a double hub of activity this year as the Athens Truck Show took place on Cornfest weekend at the Centennial Park Fairgrounds.  It was billed as a time to “meet old friends and new” and that was evident to anyone entering the grounds as participants who share a passion for antique and classic trucks had a great chance to visit and network. The event was sponsored by the Upper Canada chapter of the Antique Truck Club of America. This group includes those who own or share an interest in antique vehicles. They strive to “stimulate interest in the restoration, preservation, and operation of antique trucks and promote appreciation by the public for the history and development of antique trucks”.

Ken Shirley, president of the chapter explained that for years members have travelled across the border to shows, but last year they decided to have a show of their own which was very successful, bringing in 172 registrants, some from even 16 hours away and this year there were over 200 registered.  Registrants travelled from such places as PEI, New Jersey, Virgina, Niagara Falls and more.

Tackaberry construction owns a remarkable truck collection and this year marking  their  60th year of operation, which prompted a celebratory mood to the event.  Certainly the connection that Tackaberrys have with truck owners all over North America has added to the successes of such events.

The show also featured a slow truck race where “the last truck across the finish line wins”.

Anyone with a truck is welcome to be part of the show. The event was also open to spectators and the site was quite family friendly.

“There was a great response from the community,” commented organizer Charlie Tackaberry. “The grounds were very busy with lots of visitors to see the show!”

There was no judging involved but there were draw prizes for all registered vehicles. A silent auction also took place to help raise funds for the local club.  The grounds also offered camping facilities and a loading ramp was also available.

A BBQ took place on Saturday night as well and the Athens Lions Club helped provide meals for the event.  There were also quite a few donations made to the Athens Food Bank during the event. A real highlight of the weekend was when the trucks lit up on Saturday night at 9:00, a glowing tribute to the passion and dedication that the Club has for their trucks and their special friendship connections as well.


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September 6 2017


August 2, 2017






Turkey FAir


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ROckport River Festival

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