Carnival makes comeback

BRINSTON – Community spirit and the hard work of roughly a dozen or so volunteers has given South Dundas’ Matilda Winter Carnival a second chance at life.

It will make its comeback after a nine year hiatus this weekend, beginning with opening ceremonies and a Kids Talent Show Friday, January 20 at 7 p.m. at Matilda Hall in Dixon’s Corners.

The Kids Talent Show will feature the talents of area youth under the age of 16, from singers, dancers, and musicians, to gymnastics performances.

With a limited number of spaces, the show had 12 participants signed up as of January 14, but may have room for a few more if any local youth are feeling the call to compete.

The hall’s canteen will be open with hotdogs, hot chocolate, and other refreshments available for $1 each. Contestants will each receive a free hot chocolate.

Judging the Friday night event will be South Dundas mayor Evonne Delegarde, Colleen Leslie, and, one of Canada’s youngest rising tenors, Hawaiian Canadian Dustin Hiles. A performance by Hiles is expected to be a highlight of the evening.

Then on Saturday, January 21, the carnival will continue with a car rally during the day and some dancing later that evening. Originally, the day’s events also included a snowmobile rally, but unless Mother Nature decides to cooperate with a considerable snowfall, this is expected to be dropped from the 2017 itinerary.

Should this be the case, the carnival’s organizers invite residents to turn in their snowmobiles for the day, and hop into an automobile instead.

Sponsored by the Iroquois-Matilda Lions Club, registration for the car rally will take place at Matilda Hall between 9 and 11 a.m. The cost is roughly $5 per person.

The route will include three checkpoints with the first and final checkpoints located at the Dixon’s Corners’ hall.

As with previous years’ carnivals, members of the Iroquois Amateur Radio Club will be stationed at the checkpoints.

The rally is expected to take roughly three hours and will include a series of questions, activities, and directions for traveling.

That evening, Matilda Hall’s doors will open at 8 p.m. for the dance, which will feature Eddy & the Stingrays. A light lunch will be served later in the evening.

Tickets for the dance can be purchased at Brinston General Store, Scotiabank South Mountain, from any of the carnival’s organizers, or at the door.

The Matilda Memorial Recreation Committee includes co-chairs Cindy Peters and Chad De Jong, Leticia Barber, Erin Fletcher, Carol Fowler, Janice Froats, Marlene Lewis, Henry Luimes, Lisa Martel, Shellie Spencer, and Tracy Yalden.

Sunday morning will begin bright and early with a pancake (and sausage) breakfast at Matilda Hall between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Kevin Eamon of Rock My House Music will provide children’s musical entertainment with two performances, beginning at 10:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.

That afternoon, winter lovers can head to Matilda Memorial Park in Brinston for some outdoor fun.

Weather permitting, there will be skating and other potential activities, such as an obstacle course, novelty curling with water jugs rather than rocks, or snow soccer/baseball.

Organizers have lots of ideas for potential games, but it will depend on the whim of Mother Nature.

For example, if snow were in the forecast, building snowmen would also be on the agenda.

The canteen will be open during the January 22 outdoor fun with items on sale for $1.

Later that evening, an ecumenical service will be held at Matilda Hall beginning at 7 p.m. with refreshments to follow.

For the carnival to be a success, organizers said filling the hall for the events, having people come out to participate, is the deciding factor.

The traditional wintertime celebration made its debut in 1975 and ran for 33 years, ending in 2008.

It was due to a diminishing pool of organizing committee volunteers that it ended nine years ago.

To ensure the carnival’s ongoing presence in South Dundas, the committee needs and welcomes more volunteers. Anyone interested in joining the group should contact De Jong or Peters.