Annual Caledon Day celebrations a huge hit with community
Written By KIRA WRONSKA DORWARD
Caledon Day has been happening for a dozen years, and Event Coordinator Heather Savage has been at every one of them.
The all-ages, free community event took place this year on June 15 at the Caledon East Recreational Complex, a massive effort that came about through the coordination of dozens of volunteers, community groups, and local workers. Local businesses and corporations were also present to show their support for the town and its people, who all came together on a partially wet Saturday to celebrate living in this community.
The day began with the CCS-sponsored Velocity ride. The 15km cycling ride through Caledon is held every year to support seniors in our community. The riders finish at the Caledon Day grounds, where they were met with food provided by Howard the Butcher, who had both a vendor’s booth by the community complex and a barbeque station over by the VIP tent.
“It’s a great event,” said Howard. “I love Caledon Day. I see all my customers who come out to the event. For me, it’s the kickoff to summer, and a great way to bring out all this local talent.”
The event also only served alcohol from local producers; Pommies, Spirit Tree, Caledon Hills, and Goodlot. All vendors were both exhilarated and tired from the events of Cheers Caledon the night before.
“I’ve never been to this event personally myself [before],” said Brittany Geddes from Spirit Tree. “It was a lot of people, which I wasn’t expecting. It’s nice because it’s such a small area, but you see everyone coming together.”
Goodlot’s brewer Zac Tremaine was on hand to remind people about the new guy in town. “Our patio’s open now. People should be coming and tasting their local beer and seeing what we have to offer, because it’s good beer!”
This year, and ten days prior to the event, the Town was informed that it was the recipient of Celebrate Ontario Grant funding, which allowed organizers to enhance some areas of the event.
“We were able to meet grant requirements and introduce new things this year,” said Savage. “We have the new Artisan’s Market, the Guinness Book of World Records win (for which an adjudicator was flown in), and advertising outside of the 40 kilometres range to drive traffic to the event and showcase Caledon.”
Savage and her team also placed an emphasis this year on safer transportation to and from the event, providing attendees with Uber promo codes, a 10 percent Driver’s Den discount, and a bike valet (so that people might safely park their bikes at night) along with use of the trail.
Another change this year was the lack of a car show, after a ten-year run. “We were running out of footprint,” says Savage. “It’s important to us, no doubt, but we decided to switch it up and make a bit of a shift.”
Instead, the Caledon Public Library put on a massive tech show inside the hockey arena, with help from the Humberview Alphadogs and other tech organizations. Caledon
Public Library’s Experience IT Tech Fair was a celebration of innovative technology, DIY and makerspaces. Creative organizations and studios from across Caledon and the GTA joined CPL with their cutting-edge technology, virtual reality, robotics, 3D printing and more. Close to 2,000 people discovered the latest in innovation with interactive and hands-on demonstrations.
Batman was also in attendance with his batmobile.
“When it comes to fighting crime in Caledon, the first thing I always recommend is calling the OPP. With an event like Caledon Day, I’m here to enjoy the event, to come out and participate, and leave people with a good memory (and picture) when they leave. It’s a special time in Canada right now with the Raptors winning the NBA, and that spirit is here today.” He also added that everyone should “stay safe” while enjoying their summer.
Also there to entertain the kids was the Kid Zone, operated by both EcoCaledon and the Caledon Parent-Child Centre.
The spirit of the day couldn’t be dampened by the slight rain. “Everything we do,” says Savage, “we don’t take stock in the weather. It’s the one thing we can’t control, and over the years we’ve had some doozies.” This year, participants were lucky as the promised rain mostly bypassed the celebrations taking place in Caledon East.
The day also included a variety of stage performances put together by the Caledon Day Committee and Wendy Lalonde. The performances, introduced by emcee Chelsea Lecce, producer for Global News Morning and Caledon native, which also included a Credence Clearwater Revival cover band from the U.S., were intended to be a tribute not just to Caledon but to the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Bands included Sunshine & Broccoli, Rhythmfoot, Credence Clearwater Survival, Grace, Blackie Jacquette Junior, and headliners Tokyo Police Club. Mayfield student Rhianna Jones sang a beautiful rendition of “Oh Canada” to introduce the Mayor and speeches.
Aside from band performances, Mayor Allan Thompson also took the opportunity to acknowledge the indigenous community and the land on which we live. Last year, Thompson presented a wampum belt to Chief R. Stacey LaForme of the Mississauga’s of the New Credit to mark the 200th anniversary of the Ajetance Treaty of 1818, which encompasses the Town of Caledon. The Chief was invited back to publicly recommit to the working relationship between the Town and the Mississaugas of the New Credit, on who’s land Caledon stands.
Tobacco was offered and accepted as a positive beginning for the event, and the Mayor also offered the Chief a print by internationally celebrated Caledon artist Cory Trepanier.
“The exchanging of gifts is about understanding and working together,” said Chief LaForme. “No matter how far apart we seem, we are never so far apart we can’t find common ground, and that’s how I feel when I come to Caledon,” he added, after reading a poem entitled “Uncommon Ground”.
“We are now caretakers of this land,” added Thompson.
Another stage acknowledgement of the Town councillors was offered by Thompson, who brought them all onstage along with Solicitor General Sylvia Jones to acknowledge their work, and the work of everyone in the town for coming together the previous evening at Cheers Caledon to break the record for World’s Largest Cider Tasting.
The Mayor and company proudly held the framed award, and Jones concluded by saying, “I’m sure your warm wishes will have made for a great start to summer in Caledon!”
Printed on Thursday, June 20, 2019