People from across Northwestern Ontario, Manitoba, and Northern Minnesota traveled to Nestor Falls over the weekend for its 37th-annual winter carnival.
Nestor Falls Recreation Committee member Howard Dodd was very pleased with the turnout and glad to see so many people from different areas travelling to the carnival to participate.
“We had a pretty good crowd there at the end of the day (on Saturday) when we were giving out the prizes,” he noted
"Every carnival between 4-5 p.m., that hall gets very crowded.
“When you look out there and you see all those people that have come from all over to your community, to take part in this winter carnival - it makes you feel good—that you've done something good for the community,” Dodd added.
This year the dessert competition and fish cook-off was very well received and actually saw an increase in attendance compared to the year prior.
“I was very happy with the events we held on Friday—the fish cook-off and the dessert competition; there was a lot of people in there for that,” Dodd lauded.
First place in the fish cook-off went to Shawn Makinson of Nestor Falls, who won a $150 Visa Gift Card and award.
Second place went to Jamie Krukoski of Nestor Falls and third went to Scott Chalupsky who also lives in Nestor Falls.
Chloe Mayman of Teulon, Manitoba won first in the Desert Competition, while April Tait of Macgregor Manitoba landed second, and Sandy Faulds of Nestor Falls took third.
The Photo contest winner went to Tasha Anniuk of Nestor Falls for her scenic photograph of the sun setting by the lake.
Tammy Shine from La Vallee and Joleen Helliar from Nestor Falls won first place in the cribbage tournament, which was quite popular this year according to Dodd.
Ken and Darlene Desjardins of Fort Frances landed second place in cribbage and Marvin Hatch of Devlin and Ray Watson of Crozier secured third.
While folks had fun participating in the cribbage tournament or kids' games at Nestor Falls School, those who participated in the fishing derby had trouble catching certain species of fish at the carnival.
“This is one of the first times I can remember that we've had one species where there was no fish entered,” noted Dodd who has been involved with the carnival since 1996.
There were zero entries to the walleye category of the fish derby so names were drawn from the fish derby door prize entries to receive the first, second and third place prizes.
The northern pike category only had one entry from Clyde LePlante of Emo, who secured first place, while second and third place prizes were drawn from the fish derby door prize entries as well.
For lake trout, Tracy Pryndik of Red Lake won first place, Thatcher Haggberg of Nestor Falls landed second, and Bonnie Buttazoni of Emo secured third.
For crappie, Chris Edward of Nestor Falls won first place, Jermey Tachuk of Fort Frances won second, and Pam Edwards of Nestor falls landed third.
Chris Edwards told Dodd he marked tons of different types of fish on his depth finder when he was out on the ice but the walleye and northern pike just weren't biting.
There was a good crowd at the carnival's dance that was DJ'd by Maverick Judson on Saturday night and North Air Taxi provided safe rides to attendees.
The all-you-can-eat pancake and sausage breakfast was a hit according to Dodd and was sponsored by the Sioux Narrows—Nestor Falls Fire Department who tried raising some money for the purchase of a new fire boat.
Dodd is incredibly thankful to the countless businesses, organizations, groups, and individuals who helped to organize and sponsor the carnival.
“We couldn't do what we do for the winter carnival without the support of the volunteers and sponsors,” he lauded.
“It's just great having all those sponsors, all of the people, the volunteers to help us to put this on and it's year after year.”
Moving forward the Nestor Falls Recreation Committee will be looking at new events or categories to incorporate into the carnival to keep things interesting for the years to come.