The Rainy Lake Square will receive its own grand-opening next week, with more events to follow throughout the summer months.
The celebration for the square, completed this past fall, is planned for next Thursday (May 17).
“May 17 is a big, fun, and exciting day at the Rainy Lake Square,” said Natasha Gaudio, economic development co-ordinator with the Rainy River Future Development Corp. here.
“Everything kicks at 9 a.m. with the very first 'Rainy Lake Market.' There will be vendors there,” she noted.
“Then at 12:30 p.m., the official grand-opening ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin.”
There also will be greetings from dignitaries, including Fort Frances Mayor Roy Avis, and the cutting of a cake, which then will be served up to the public.
There will be some prize giveaways, as well.
The grand-opening celebration will be capped off with a “Fort Frances Kitchen Party” with Entyrely Mac, the local brother/sister musical act of Wayne and Danette McIntyre.
This free concert, which runs from 6-8 p.m., also officially kicks off the 2018 Rainy Lake Series of concerts happening throughout the summer (concert-goers are reminded to bring along a lawn chair).
Food and beverage service will be provided by Boston Pizza.
The next event at the Rainy Lake Square will be the first “Market Saturday" on May 19. Like "Market Thursdays,” this will be a day each week when vendors can come to the square to sell their wares.
“Markets will run 9 a.m.-1 p.m. both of those days of the week, from May long weekend until the end of September,” noted Gaudio.
There's about 24 spots for vendors, with a limited number of tents and tables available for them to use," she added.
“There's no charge to be a vendor; just show up that morning and sign in.”
Vendors with questions can contact Gaudio at 274-9621 or via e-mail at email@example.com
As previously reported, the Rainy Lake Series will feature a concert one Thursday evening a month through to September.
The second concert will feature iconic children's music performer Fred Penner on Thursday, June 14, followed by local rockers Kings of None taking the stage on Thursday, July 12.
Performing on Thursday, Aug. 30 will be Iskwé, a Juno Award-nominated Cree and Dene pop/electronic music singer.
Distant Legacy featuring Brittany Strachan will open for Iskwé.
Finally, The Old Salts, a six-piece roots-rock outfit from Toronto, will close out the series with a concert on Thursday, Sept. 13.
The Rainy Lake Series is sponsored by the Town of Fort Frances, Tbaytel, Celebrate Ontario, the Ontario Arts Council, Sunset Country Ford, and New Gold.
Sunset Country Métis is sponsoring the Aug. 30 concert.
All of these concerts also will run from 6-8 p.m.
In addition to the concert series, “people can expect something free and fun happening at square” every Thursday evening through the end of September, Gaudio said.
These events could be anything from free movie nights to more hands-on activities.
For example, on the evening of May 24, a paint night is scheduled with renowned local artist Cher Pruys (there also will be a wine bar provided by Flint House).
Those interested will need to RSVP as soon as this free event is posted on Facebook.
Gaudio suggested the best way to keep up-to-date with what's happening each week is to visit rainylakesquare.ca or follow “Rainy Lake Square” on Facebook.
Meanwhile, organizers are welcoming buskers and other entertainers to perform at the Rainy Lake Square.
Those interested should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 274-9621 to secure a spot.
“Give us a call so there's no overlap for people want to be busking on the same day at the same time,” Gaudio said
“We welcome buskers of all kinds," she added. ”You could be a circus performer—we'd love to have you.
“You could be a singer-songwriter, you could play saxophone—love it.”