On behalf of the Rockport Recreation Hall committee, we would like to thank all the residents, businesses, participants, volunteers and anyone else who helped in a small or big way to make the 40th annual Rockport Winter Carnival a great success! A great time was had by all who attended or helped. See you next year!
ROCKPORT – Sunny skies and smiling faces made the 40th anniversary of the Rockport Winter Carnival succeed like a summer breeze.
As Sunday morning stretched towards a busy afternoon of nail-driving and log-sawing for kids and adults, long-time carnival activist Meg Mallory was enjoying the toboggan races and looking forward to the redneck rodeo next on the schedule.
Mallory has volunteered for the carnival “from the beginning” and has watched four decades as it has remained a staple of Rockport’s winter lifestyle.
Many changes have taken place over the years, she said, including the lineup and location of events as well as learning to accommodate shifts in weather patterns.
The continued success over 40 years reflects not only the details but the community’s willingness to pitch in with the organization and participate in the activities, said Mallory.
“It sure does get the community involved. It’s really the community spirit that makes it successful,” she said.
“It’s a chance to get us all together for five days in the winter.”
A busy schedule of activities included many indoor and outdoor events such as cards, bingo and children’s games, as well as chicken bowling for kids and adults, snolf, an outdoor family skate at the Rockport Barn and a well-received fireworks display Saturday night
Even a heavy snowfall Friday couldn’t keep people away from a shuffleboard tournament for two-player teams at the recreation hall, said Mallory.
“We still had enough players for 13 teams,” she said.
Another event captain, Jennifer Pauze, said the festival gives people a chance to get outside whatever the weather.
“It’s just a chance to be adventurous and have some fun. We’re tenants here all winter so this is a chance to get together,” said Pauze.
Mike DeWolfe, a lifelong resident of Rockport, was wearing an apron festooned with 36 wooden carnival buttons proving his long-time involvement with the festival.
“I’ve been collecting carnival buttons all the way back to 1986,” he said, adding he’s missing some of the early buttons made of popsicle sticks.
DeWolfe said he enjoys the festival every year and was happy to see his grandchildren active in multiple events, including Sunday’s toboggan races, the redneck rodeo and kids’ nail-driving competition.
The Rockport Winter Carnival took place in early February. This years edition celebrated 40 years of community involvement and winter fun for adults and kids alike. From its modest, one day of activities, it has grown into five. It is its own creation and the originality and ingenuity of its events reflect that. Where else do you find the redneck rodeo, gang planking, log sawing or chicken bowling? Only at the Rockport Winter Carnival, which is also a powerful fundraiser and has kept the much loved Rec Hall in very good stead with many important upgrades including, a new septic system. The recent inclusion of The Barn, owned by Erich Prohaska and Normand Pichette, has added more unique features to the carnival. The pond has become the focus for skating, European curling and beautiful winter sky, fireworks.
Thanks to Erich and Normand for their generosity using the Rockport Barn as a great venue for the Saturday afternoon and evening events!
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Jan 30, 2014 by Jan Murray St. Lawrence News
The 34th annual Rockport Winter Carnival promises lots of excitement in the 2014 edition.
The fun kicks off on Wednesday, Feb. 5 and runs all the way through Sunday, Feb. 9. Offering a similar line up to that which drew the huge crowds in 2013, organizers Tracy Griffin and Meg Mallory are confident that everyone is in for a roaring good time once again this year.
"The schedule is pretty full now the way it is, so we don't really mess with it that much," explained Griffin. "This year we got rid of the crap shoot and replaced it with a tug of war." The festivities will begin on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. with a euchre tournament taking place at Cornwall's Pub as well as a hot chicken wing eating contest. Also beginning right at 7 is a pool tournament over at Caiger's upper deck.
Moving into Thursday, Caiger's will offer bingo for $2 per card or 3 for $5 beginning at 6 p.m. If darts is more your game of choice then pop on over to Cornwall's pub where they will be having a dart tournament also beginning at 7 p.m. The Torch Light Parade will start at 6 p.m. sharp on Friday evening, beginning at the East Gates, followed by the crowning of the Prince and Princess which is open to all children under 12. This is followed of course, by the yummy s'mores party at Cornwall's Pub at 6:30.
If the weather cooperates, the fireworks display, sponsored by Rockport Boat Line and Cornwall's Pub, will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday evening (if not, then it will be moved to Sunday at 7 p.m.).
The fireworks are only the beginning of a very fun filled evening offering a shuffleboard
tournament, a male sexy leg contest, the live music of Mike Bishop and even more entertainment over at Caiger's.
Saturday morning everyone will want to be up and at it bright and early to make sure they get an opportunity to participate in the kids fishing derby which runs from 8-11 a.m. From this point on the day is action packed including activities such as ice or ball hockey, a pancake breakfast put on by the Men's Breakfast Club, an abundance of children's activities in the rec hall, hurling and horseshoes. Inside the rec hall children can enjoy face painting, crafts, glitter tattoos and hair feathers.
The winter ice scuba dive will run from 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. for those brave enough, or for those not so fond of the icy cold water, there will also be a food show where you can taste new and favourite products sponsored by Gordon Food Supply running from 11-2, over at Caiger's.
Saturday afternoon activities include European curling as well as snolf in the boat line parking lot, and the all-time favourite, kid's chicken bowling at 2 p.m. The flicken chicken contest takes place at Cornwall's Pub at 3 p.m., as well as live music from 1-4. If you would prefer to venture back outside, there will be an Air Boat show on the ice.
Surely after such an action packed day, everyone will be completely famished. They can head on over to Cornwall's Pub for a spaghetti dinner from 5-7 p.m. followed by the Christmas Tree Bonfire at River Front Point from 6-9 p.m. As the children, exhausted from a full day of activities are snuggling down in their beds and dreaming of another full day of activities on Sunday, the adults can enjoy the live music of Higher Ground, bar games and prizes at Cornwall's Pub, or slide on down to Caiger's where they will also offer live music from 8:30 p.m. -1 a.m..
After a good night's rest, the kids will be raring to go again as the kids toboggan races begin at the Boat line parking lot hill at 11 a.m. followed by the infamous Redneck Rodeo. This year's redneck rodeo will also be encouraging costumes and awarding prizes for best costume, so put your thinking cap on and come up with something wild and crazy to wow the crowds.
Griffin elaborated, "The redneck rodeo seems to get bigger and bigger every year. This will be our third year doing it. Basically we've taken the hood of a car and bolted a van seat to it, and it is towed behind a snowmobile.
We supply everything. People just have to get a partner and do the obstacles that we set out for them."
You can catch the kids and adult nail driving and log sawing contest at Cornwall's Pub right at noon followed by the kids scavenger hunt at 1 on the pubs patio. While the kids are hunting for treasure, mom and dad can take part in the adult chicken bowling just off the deck in the boat line parking lot.
The afternoon continues with the K9 Keg pull, gang planking and snowshoe races and a tug of war contest. From 3-4 try your luck in the chili contest at Cornwall's pub and then at 5 show how you've perfected your cooking skills with the pass the sauce contest at Caiger's.
The final event of the four-day actionpacked Rockport Winter Carnival will be the Wheel of Fortune at Caiger's at 7 p.m. on Sunday evening. There is absolutely something for everyone at this year's upcoming Winter Carnival. Big kids, little kids and all those in between will be roaring with laughter and having a blast with this tremendous line up of both indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family.
Joe Baptista, of EON explains, "It's a worthwhile family event with the proceeds going to the Rockport Rec Hall. It's been an integral part of the community for decades."
A $3 button that will allow you access to all activities throughout the entire carnival can be purchased at any of the following: Rockport Lighthouse, Caiger's Resort or Cornwall's Pub, on the 1000 Islands Parkway; Purcell's Freshmart in Mallorytown; Rapid Valley in Lansdowne or Woodleys Jewellers in Gananoque.