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'Railroad Daze' deemed better than ever

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The 31st-annual “Railroad Daze” returned to Rainy River last Thursday to Sunday—and organizers say it was bigger and better than ever.

The fun-filled weekend of events and competitions drew sizeable crowds, with event organizer Martin Kreger saying this year saw the biggest turnout they've ever had.

“I would say, across the board, everything was up," he enthused. "And every year we keep growing it a little bigger.”

With more activities than ever before, there was no shortage of fun events for all ages to enjoy—from the inflatables in Hannam Park to the cardboard boat races.

The “Teen Movie Night” returned to the park on Thursday with a fantastic rate of attendance, Kreger noted.

“We had the biggest turnout we've ever seen for our movie night," he remarked. "We did a horror movie, for the older kids, and you could hear them screaming from down Main Street.”

The movie drew more than 50 kids, which was double the turnout from last year.

The annual parade, held late Saturday morning, was led by members of the Rainy River Royal Canadian Legion Br. #54 and the Rainy River Highlanders and saw well over 100 attendees lining Fourth Street.

This year's festivities also included the first-annual car show, which Kreger said “went better than expected.”

It featured 36 entries showing off classic, muscle, and antique cars.

“One of the most vintage was an old Model T and it was just gorgeous,” Kreger smiled.

The event's “Best in Show” award went to Darren Borger for his 1937 Chevy Truck, which is a rare vehicle that Kreger, as a car guy, admittedly has never seen before.

Other winners include Ed Halverson (“Best Vintage") and Ron and Judy Deschamps ("Best Paint”).

In fact, Kreger already is eager to bring the car show back to “Railroad Daze” next year.

Other activities included wakeboarding and tubing on the Rainy River.

“We had a lineup at water sports and the kids were having a blast,” Kreger enthused.

For this year's “Railroad Daze,” the town ran a canteen down at Hannam Park, where patrons could enjoy soft-serve ice cream for the first time, in addition to a variety of deep-fried foods.

Kreger said the support this year was great from across the district and surrounding areas.

“We had great support from everywhere," he remarked. ”We had people from as far as Sioux Lookout and we also had a lot of families from Winnipeg who are cottagers.

“It's nice to see the community really come together and enjoy the festivities,” he added.

“It's just a great time.”

Kreger would like to thank all the volunteers and participants for coming out and making “Railroad Daze” possible.

“It's not what it is without the people that come,” he stressed.

Kreger said he's looking forward to helping plan next year's “Railroad Daze,” which he hopes will continue to grow.

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