Huge crowd welcomes re-opening of Morrisburg’s bigger, better beach

Surveying Morrisburg’s beautiful new beach front – Angus Parkinson (left) and Micah McCourt, from a perch on the life-guard tower, are clearly enjoying an aerial view of Morrisburg’s exciting, family-friendly, new waterfront area. Micah and Angus were just two of the nearly 800 people who came out to celebrate the beach’s grand re-opening on Saturday, June 22. One of the chief organizers, Michael Burton, was “overwhelmed” by the support and interest shown by the community. After the official ribbon-cutting, sun lovers could enjoy free food, strawberry shortcake, great music, games and plenty of “cool” dips in the river. Incidentally Angus and Micah promised they would let everyone know should they happen to spot any “shark fins.” (The Leader/Gibb photos)

MORRISBURG – Estimates suggest that as many as 800 area residents, and some out of town visitors, were at the waterfront on Saturday, June 22, to take part in the re-opening of the Morrisburg beach.

Payshence Sheldrick patches a wall in her sand castle.

The Morrisburg Waterfront Committee put in years of planning and work to bring about this very special day: the community has definitely given all their efforts a thumbs up.

Committee member Michael Burton welcomed the crowd and praised the hard work done by all the volunteer committee members.

He also thanked director of recreation and facilities Ben Macpherson and the support the organization received from the previous municipal council and the current council. He also singled out many other individuals whose support had led to “this special day.”

“The beach has been expanded. We removed brush and shrubs, and trucked in new sand. There is a new dock and swimming platform,” Burton said. “We also extended the parking lot, and put in new grass and lights. We also have a beautiful mural in place thanks to Margi Laurin.”

Oakley Turner, held by Trisha Villeneuve, shows off his special pirate moustache. Face painting was just part of the fun at the beach re-opening.

Nearly 600 people enjoyed hot dogs, hamburgers and strawberry shortcake courtesy of the Morrisburg Lions Club and South Dundas Councillor Lloyd Wells.

There was also face painting, water-ball, special games and, later on, plenty of live music provided by Sons of Gord and West of the Rock.

Mayor Steven Byvelds, on hand for the official ribbon-cutting, described the Waterfront Committee as “wonderful and hard-working. We know we have a great beach and waterfront. The past council and this council have all supported this project. Our beaches are our ‘crown jewels.’”

While a chorus of children (wearing special t-shirts courtesy of Bill Morrow), under the direction of Margaret Whisselle led the crowd in O Canada, the Waterfront group, Keith Robinson, Rosemary Laurin, Michael Burton, Doreen Liberty. Carmelo Scaini and Maggie Harvey joined the mayor to cut the opening ribbon.

The big crowds did not seem to mind at all that the water may have been a “little brisk” as they took advantage of the floating dock and swimming platform.

Burton announced that the committee was already looking at work on the amphitheatre, and at new trees for the beach area.

These three “mermaids” show off their fins on the sandy Morrisburg beach. L-r, are Kate Dingwall, Aubrey German, Lily-Anna McCourt.
Mayor Steven Byvelds, centre, joins the Morrisburg Waterfront Committee to officially re-open the new, expanded beach. Helping cut the ribbon, (l-r) are: Keith Robinson, Rosemary Laurin, Michael Burton, Doreen Liberty, Carmelo Scaini and Maggie Harvey.
Margaret Whisselle, with some of her singers, conducted the children’s choir who performed “O Canada” at the beach re-opening. Several singers were from Morrisburg Public School.

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