Annual event comes to a close

Kent Burton sports@advertisernl.ca
Published on July 22, 2010
Adam Gontier of Three Days Grace encourages the crowd to sing along at the Salmon Festival concert in Grand Falls-Windsor Saturday night. See page 4 and 5 of today's Advertiser for more photos of the event. David Newell photo

There were a lot of expectations placed on this year’s Exploits Valley Salmon Festival after the election of a new town council and if the response by patrons is any indication, there was no disappointment from those who attended.

There were a lot of expectations placed on this year’s Exploits Valley Salmon Festival after the election of a new town council and if the response by patrons is any indication, there was no disappointment from those who attended.

            The festival kicked off on Thursday evening with one of its most popular events, the salmon dinner. An estimated 500 people filled Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium for a delicious meal catered by the Mount Peyton Hotel. Another few hundred returned to the stadium on Friday evening for the stadium dance, where patrons danced the night away to the music of Hot Rocks, a Rolling Stones cover band that certainly looked the part.

            Saturday began with the United Church Ladies Brunch at the Memorial United Church, where patrons were delighted with traditional Newfoundland food, such as fish cakes, homemade beans and bologna.

            The much anticipated Salmon Festival concert began at Centennial Field on Saturday afternoon with Matthew Hornell and the Diamond Minds, who didn’t disappoint their dedicated fan base, some of whom came from the band’s home base of St. John’s to see them perform.

As the day went on, more and more people began to flood the field, as thousands turned out to see following acts Sloan, Doc Walker, Classified, Faber Drive, Matthew Good and headliners Three Days Grace.

            Centennial Field played host to festivities once again on Sunday afternoon, with the always popular family day event. There was plenty of entertainment for all ages, featuring Douglas John, Cookie the Clown and magician Jordan Maloney. FUNdamentals Family Fitness Centre also hosted the Family Fun Zone on the field’s soccer pitch, which featured various games, races and other family activities.

            One of the highlights on last weekend’s festival was the gospel concert, which was very well attended and is quickly becoming a staple of the five-day festivities. Rev. Roy Martin was on hand to perform, along with musicians such as Badger’s Kellie Loder and the internationally renowned Starfield. The concert was perhaps the biggest surprise of the weekend, with several hundred people in attendance.

            Things came to a close with Grand Falls-Windsor Day on Monday afternoon, which featured a community barbecue and horse rides on Main Street. Activity shifted back to Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium that afternoon and night for the infamous Newfie Night, which featured traditional Newfoundland food and entertainment by Mill Road and Young at Heart, as well as the always amusing Screech In for festival-goers from outside the province.

            Mayor Al Hawkins anticipates that final numbers will be available in approximately a week.