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Rotaryfest: What’s new and what’s back

A 30,000 pound rubber ducky, lumberjacks, ribs and an aerial obstacle course - just a few of the many things to love about Rotaryfest 2017
2016 - 07 - 16 - Rotary Fest Parade- Klassen-14
2016 Rotaryfest Parade. Jeff Klassen for SooToday



Rotaryfest, the Sault’s Summer Festival will be filling Clergue Park and Rowswell Park from Thursday, July 13 to Saturday, July 15. Rotaryfest’s history goes back to the first Community Day Parade in 1922 and has evolved into the area’s largest festival and a Sault summer staple.

Here’s what’s new at Rotaryfest 2017:

The World’s Largest Rubber Ducky. That’s right. 30,000 pounds of duck will be set up for your enjoyment in Clergue Park for all three days of the festival. Standing at 61 feet tall, this yellow attraction will be hard to miss. (Ontario 150 Tour presented by Redpath Sugar)

The West Coast Lumberjack Show is an action-packed, must-see Canadian show that will have you wanting to break out your plaid. The 45-minute show is comprised of non-stop lumberjack events including logrolling, tree climbing, chainsaw carving and axe throwing, done by professional athletes, all of whom are current or former Canadian Champions. (Ontario 150 Tour presented by Redpath Sugar)

Rhythm of the Nation is a Canada 150 Fund initiative written specifically for the Ontario 150 Tour. This is an interactive dance and musical performance centred around nationally-renowned street artist DJ Creeasian and hosted by bi-lingual actor Pierre Trudel.

A truly diverse multicultural Canadian performance will evolve as each show will be uniquely defined by the audience and musical influences. (Ontario 150 Tour presented by Redpath Sugar)

Ribfest will have four BBQ ribbers this year, including a new contestant for People’s Choice: The Hogfather BBQ. “Our ribs are smoked for hours, low ‘n slow, for the most tender, fall off the bone ribs you’ll ever have,” shared Kreig Rowe, pit master. “Come to The Hogfather, I’m gonna make you a rack you can’t refuse!”

Stage 1 and Stage Two are going to rock even harder with an extra hour of music each. Stage 1 will begin an hour earlier on Friday at 5 p.m. and Stage Two’s headliner Jesse Merineau will go on stage at 8 p.m. Stage Two has also has increased that line-up with one additional band.

Together: An exhibition on global development is an innovative, interactive and multi-sensory experience designed to spark conversations about the role that Canadians can play in reducing global poverty. This unique, mobile exhibition is housed in a 53-foot, custom vehicle. With 1,000 square feet of exhibit space, Together transports visitors around the globe.

Children can climb to great heights on the Treetop Aerial Obstacle Course in the Tenaris Playzone for $5/run.

Here are just a few returning crowd favourites:

  • The Northern Dental Care Inflatable Park remains entirely free thanks to the second year of support from Northern Dental Care
  • The Tenaris PlayZone will be entertaining children of all ages with crafts, games, and activities.
  • The  96th Annual Rotary Community Day Parade presented by Brookfield on Saturday, July 15 will once again have a Sensory Friendly Block located from Bruce Street to Dennis Street on the North side of the road for families with children who experience distress dealing with sensory stimulation. All float entries will be instructed against the use of sirens, air horns, and car horns along this portion of the parade route.
  • Walk, run, or roll down Queen St. in front of thousands of spectators and through four bright colour stations in support of Rotary Youth Charities as part of the Miracle Mile Colour Blast presented by Community First and supported by Sault Rotaract just before the parade.

For more information and full schedules of events visit