The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship is only a week away as the anticipation continues to build for one of the largest events of the year.
This year is the FFCBC's 25th anniversary and the board of directors are expecting another big reception from the community. As well, the board would like to send a welcome everyone who plans on visiting from out of town and to those partaking in this year's events.
As of Monday, 93 teams had registered for the tournament but the board is anticipating to fill the remaining spots. Teams can continue to register as organizers expect a full 125 team field.
Competitors will have high hopes as they try and take-home part of the $87,750 prize pool total.
Planning for the tournament started back in January and as the start date draws closer, it is good to see everything come to fruition, said Jeanette Cawston, FFCBC director of communication and volunteer coordination.
“The bass tournament is always a really good draw for everybody in the district,” said Cawston, adding the FFCBC is an economic boost to local businesses and there's lots to do for both young and old.
The board is delighted to share that “Bobber the Bass” and the Boston Pizza boat parade will both be making a return to this year's FFCBC. The boat parade will kick off all the events from the Sorting Gap Marina starting on July 17, followed by a teen dance beginning at 8 p.m. featuring music by DJ Wyatt McLeod.
Everyone is welcome to come out to the riverfront and watch all of the flights depart each day at 6:30 a.m. next Thursday through Saturday (July 18-20).
Be sure to show your support and cheer during all the weigh-ins as all competitors will be trying to stake their claim at the $25,000 grand prize—the largest in tournament history.
Fans can get involved in the action by watching weigh-ins at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. The weigh-ins on Saturday will start at 3 p.m.
This year, the Fort Frances Lions Club will be sponsoring all the events on Thursday to raise funds to help make upgrades at Lions Park here.
The Lions Club will have pull tabs available throughout the weekend along with Bingo on Thursday evening, following the Day 1 weigh-ins.
Thursday night's entertainment will feature the renowned Nite Hawk band at 9 p.m., while on Friday evening the tent will fill up early with folks eager to watch as the next bright stars will showcase their talents in pursuit of the coveted “Quest for the Best” title beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Back by popular demand, the Minneapolis band, “JUNK FM,” will make their return Saturday at 9:30 p.m. as they rocked the tent so hard last year, people requested they returned again for 2019.
FFCBC loves to get children involved in the weekend activities by offering free kids' events. Children will be able to enjoy free face painting by Born To Sparkle, as well as games and prizes down at the tent on all three days.
On Friday and Saturday, children will also be able to get up and close with animals at the Spry Farm Petting Zoo alongside some fun inflatable amusements.
“Of course, nothing this big goes off without a hand from many people and many businesses that help sponsor such an event,” said Cawston.
As 2019's premier sponsor, the FFCBC board would like to thank Sunset Country Ford for their contribution and as well to the many other organizations which help financially or from those who have made any kind contribution.
Cawston added the volunteers play a pivotal role in helping pull everything together and without their manpower, the workload would be overwhelming and the tournament would not be a huge success.
FFCBC hopes this year tournament will be a memorable one for all the fisherman and everyone who attends the events over the weekend.
“We are hoping that everyone takes the opportunity to come down and wish us all a congratulations,” said Cawston.
“We hope to have past chairs up on the stage to give them an applause because they were pivotal in the tournament lasting 25 years.”