The Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie is excited to announce that ROTARYFEST, The Sault’s Summer Festival! will be returning to Clergue Park from July 14th to 16th just in time to celebrate its 100th anniversary with the people of Sault Ste. Marie.
“The committee is working hard,” commented festival co-chair Paul Walz. “We are ecstatic to be returning to Clergue Park. We are planning the return to our normal festival with live bands, ribbers, vendors, a parade and fun for the whole family. Also returning to the festival is our ROTARYFEST Take Your Pick Draw that assists with all of our endeavors locally.”
The club is planning the festival in accordance with provincial and APH guidelines, and they are optimistic that this year’s event will be able to proceed as usual barring any further lockdowns and restrictions.
“It feels wonderful,” shared festival co-chair Rod Goodall about returning to a traditional ROTARYFEST. “We’ve had nothing of this size since 2019 and everybody’s ready; the Rotarians are ready, and certainly the public is ready. Everybody wants to get out, they want to celebrate, and they want to support the good works Rotary is doing in our community.”
In 1922, the first Community Night parade was held by the Rotary Club as a fundraiser to purchase a car for the city nurse. Over the past century, the parade has grown and evolved into a three-day festival that hosts thousands of people of all ages.
“At the heart of our Rotary Club is the desire to better the lives of the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie. The festival not only emanates from that calling, but is also our way of thanking the countless Saultites who help us fulfill it,” explained President Michael Stone. “Like many non-profit organizations we relied heavily on our community’s support to survive COVID. We don’t want to wait another year to say ‘thank you’ for their immense generosity, so it is all hands on deck to make this year’s festival a reality.”
Since 1918, the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie has fostered service, leadership, and good works in the community, with its primary mandate to support children with physical disabilities. The club invests in the Sault’s youth through Rotary Youth Exchange, Rotary Algoma Science Fair, Rotary Sports Awards Dinner, scholarships, local projects such as the Rotary Adventure Playground, and partnerships with numerous charities. The club hosts tens of thousands of people at their community-building events, including the Rotary Santa Claus Parade and (of course) ROTARYFEST, The Sault’s Summer Festival!