Year of revelry

David
David Newell
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Bishop's Falls invites visitors to Centennial Celebrations

It started with the lighting of Bishop's Falls famous railway trestle lights or "trussel," with more than 20,000 LED lights," which spans the Exploits River in the community.

It was the start of a yearlong party in the central Newfoundland town.

And the town's Centennial Celebrations have been running along smoothly ever since.

They even have a patron for the year, Alex Faulkner, who is a Bishop's Falls native and the first Newfoundlander to play in the NHL. There's a Centennial flame, too, signaling the party at the town for the duration of the year.

Members of the Station 267 Centennial Choir perform at the opening of the yearlong 100th birthday party in Bishop's Falls earlier this year.

It started with the lighting of Bishop's Falls famous railway trestle lights or "trussel," with more than 20,000 LED lights," which spans the Exploits River in the community.

It was the start of a yearlong party in the central Newfoundland town.

And the town's Centennial Celebrations have been running along smoothly ever since.

They even have a patron for the year, Alex Faulkner, who is a Bishop's Falls native and the first Newfoundlander to play in the NHL. There's a Centennial flame, too, signaling the party at the town for the duration of the year.

"Bishop's Falls is a very special place," said Mr. Faulkner. "It is a great town. And I am proud top say that I am from here."

Since then, there have been sports tournaments (which are still going on), a winter carnival and even an Irish Week in March in the short time since the celebrations kicked off.

"All 12 months have something," said George Saunders, the chair of the organizing committee.

While some of those events have already wrapped up, it's not too late for visitors to the town to share in the excitement. From May 6-9, for example, Bishop's Falls youth will be keeping the spirit with a performance of one of the most beloved Broadway musicals: Annie, the story of the little orphan girl once seen in Depression-era comic strips which modern writers transformed into a heartwarming piece for the stage.

Then for hockey fans as well as visitors and residents who want to enjoy an evening with sports celebrities - Alex Faulkner and hockey immortal Gordie Howe, who like Mr. Faulkner was a member of the Detroit Red Wings in the "hockey tribute gala." The meeting of the hockey minds is on Saturday, May 16, at the Pat O'Reilly Memorial Stadium and it will include several other provincial hockey hall of famers from the town.

But as organizers and Bishop's Falls residents know, and visitors will be delighted to find out on future visits throughout the Centennial Year to the town, there's more than just sports lined up for the months to come.

There is a spring concert on June 6, and a choir concert on June 16. That one takes place at the Gordon Pinsent Centre for the Arts in Grand Falls-Windsor, but features the Station 267 Centennial Choir under the direction of Maxine Stanley, an experienced musician noted for directing large vocal ensembles. Her Centennial Choir boasts 100 voices.

Despite Bishop's Falls Centennial celebrations, the town isn't forgetting Canada Day, with activities planned at Fallsview Park for July 1.There's also citizenship ceremonies, too.

And for fans of 70s nostalgia, there's a tribute group performance by "Abbamania" for July 4 at Fallsview Park.

July 5-11 is a special event at the stadium: it's a historical play about the town, with local actors and directed by Dave Anthony.

Some of the visitors expected to town this year are here for family and school reunions in July; other events coming up include a soapbox derby, There is also a Strongman Competition and Race Day at the nearby Thunder Valley speedway. There are more events, culminating in the Centennial New Year's Ball at the Bishop's Falls Lions Club. A complete list of events can be obtained at the website at www.bishopsfalls100.com

Organizations: NHL, Irish Week, Detroit Red Wings Gordon Pinsent Centre Falls Lions Club

Geographic location: Falls, Exploits River, Newfoundland Fallsview Park Pat O'Reilly Memorial Stadium Grand Falls-Windsor Thunder Valley

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  • Martin Cooke
    July 10, 2013 - 13:48

    I was wondering if I could get a copy of a photo taken by the advertiser around 1963 of Gordie Howe,s visit to Grand Falls The picture was taken with Alex Faulkner at the now Joe Byrne arena . There is also in the picture a young boy. That young boy would be me .