Tubie race competitors got what they asked for at a meeting hosted by the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce Tubie Festival organizing committee, July 10, at the McIntosh Inn.
The meeting was held to help the new organizing committee gauge interest in the race.
“In the past, organizers would wait until the Friday night (of Tubie Weekend) to see how many competitors there would be,” said Kevin Casselman, who chaired the meeting. The new committee wasn’t comfortable with waiting until then, so they organized this preliminary meeting.
In addition to gauging interest, the meeting provided a forum for those planning to compete to share ideas, to ask questions, and to provide input.
Before the meeting started, Casselman told The Leader that if there was an appetite for change, the committee was willing to do what they could to facilitate the desired changes.
The main topic of conversation was the format of the upcoming 44th annual Tubie race.
Cole Veinotte suggested returning the race to its original format.
According to Veinotte, the sprint format brought in a few years ago, has been keeping Tubie traditionalists away. He suggested that some of those traditionalists are likely to return should the original race format be re-instated.
Other competitors at the meeting agreed to bringing back the traditional format, where paddlers race their Tubie crafts from Mariatown to the Morrisburg beach.
Veinotte suggested the format change could alleviate some of the congestion at the Morrisburg dock, on a very busy long weekend, that this year will also be hosting the Renegade Bass fishing tournament series.
Immediately following the meeting, the Tubie Festival committee went to work on securing the Arlor Haven Campsite launch venue for the race Sunday, August 3.
Monday morning, Casselman announced that they had successfully secured the Arlor Haven launch site for the 2014 Tubie race.
Organizers have about 7-8 teams planning to participate. “We’re happy with that number in early July,” said Casselman.
They continue to welcome more to build a craft to join in the Tubie fun.
As always, festivities kick off with a parade Saturday, August 2, and a dance that evening.
Organizers are planning to keep the traditional parade route in tact, even though a portion of it passes along an area of Lakeshore Drive which has been under construction. They believe the area will be paved in time for the parade.
Local talent – One Night Standards will play this year’s dance, which is planned for outdoors, at the Morrisburg waterfront however, there will be no big tent.
Tubie T-Shirts are designed and ordered.
The 2014 Tubie theme – It’s Going Tubie a Splash.
This is the first year the Tubie Festival is being handled by the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce, who took over the event after the Morrisburg and District Lions Club announced that they would no longer host it.
“This is not something that a chamber of commerce would normally do, but it’s so important to the community, we didn’t want to see it disappear,” said Carl McIntyre, South Dundas Chamber of Commerce president.
“Nowhere else in the world is there a Tubie Festival. South Dundas has Tubies and we won’t let that go,” said Geraldine Fitzsimmons of the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s going to make for a great weekend,” said Casselman.