BorderFest / Frontière en fête 2013

borderfest paradeSTANSTEAD : The sun came out for the 13th annual BorderFest / Frontière en Fête celebration held in Stanstead, on Saturday, July 6 (the sun being a rare visitor to this area in the last few weeks), making it a great day for family and friends to get together to enjoy the talent and energy within this bilingual, multi-cultural community . This particular celebration definitely offers one of the best fireworks displays in the region!!

The activities began with the 12th annual 5km run which attracted over 111 runners of all ages, making their way through the streets of Stanstead and along the bike trail to arrive at the Town Hall for the presentation of medals and prizes. Runners came from all over the Eastern Townships and as far away as Montreal, St. Lambert, Calgary and Vancouver to compete in this increasingly popular event. Participants were divided in groups according to age, beginning with those 12 years and under (1st and second place winners – Felix Bouchard, Charlotte Prangley); 13-19 years (Samuel Beauvais, Maude Theberge); 20-29 years (Meredith Lavoie, Charles Alexandre); 30-39 years Jody Stone - 5 km run 2013(Jody Stone, Shannon Stoddard); 40-49 years (Vincent Caldwell, Chantal Legrand); 50-59 years (Joel St. Louis, Sylvie Boudreau); 60-69 years (Johane Routhier, Russell Petelle); 70-79 years (Hugh Wilson); 80 + years (Jean Bernaguez). Once again this successful sporting event was organized by Mike Sudlow and his team of volunteers.

The parade began around 10:30a.m, much to the pleasure of the kids and adults of all ages who had positioned themselves along the parade route to get ‘the best view’ of what was to come. Adding to the usual array of local fire-trucks from surrounding areas and large trucks driven by the Roy family (definitely their pride and joy) were floats created by various organizations and members of the community. Even though the number of legion members may now be dwindling in size, they still made a valiant effort to celebrate the occasion and their role within the surrounding communities, by either marching in the parade or riding on the ‘Legion’ float. Other entries heralded popular activities such as the bowling alley, summer camp and the Phelps 2013 -Rebecca and firedogHelp program. This year also included a stunning array of riding horses and wagons being drawn by festively decorated teams of horses.

During the day there were activities for all ages including blow-up games and petting zoo for the younger kids and beanbag competitions for the adults. There was a short demonstration and explanation by expert dog handler Sylvie from the CBSA, a magic show, line dancing, talent show and bingo for those who preferred to stay under the shade of the big tent.

Instead of the traditional groups of bands which supplied the musical entertainment for the evening, this part of the festivities was reserved for Dany Flanders, hometown boy and musician turned TV celebrity in recent months as he made his way to the finals of the French language television show LA VOIX (comparable to English language show THE VOICE). Many audiences have enjoyed performances by Flanders over the years but now his name is recognized by a much 2013 -Dany Flanderswider audience. As a thank-you, the Town of Stanstead presented him with a granite plaque engraved with his image and LA VOIX created by Stanstead’s own Picture This on Granite, a company that has built a strong reputation for its excellent work both locally and internationally.

The festivities ended with an outstanding fireworks display before a group of several hundred people who filled the local schoolyard. Organizers seemed very pleased as they looked back on the day’s events and thoughts drifted toward plans for BorderFest / Frontière en fête 2014.