Darryl Wolk

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Newmarket Day? Hot Air Balloon Festival? Fall Fair? Ribfest? What festivals and events do you want to see in Newmarket?

Posted by Darryl Wolk on June 2, 2014 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

When I started working in Peel Region, one of the first things I noticed was Caledon Day and Brampton Day. On June 14, Big Sugar will be the headliner for Caledon Day. Last year 10,000 Caledon residents enjoyed David Wilcox. Established in 2008, Caledon Day celebrates this community’s rich and unique heritage, history and diversity. The event has grown from a local fun fair to a full-blown community festival with something for all ages and interests. This year's Caledon Day includes an animal zone, beer garden, car & motorcycle show, fireworks, food, a fun run, rock concerts, rodeo, safety zone, silent auction, sports zone, water zone and much more. Learn more about Caledon Day here: http://www.caledon.ca/en/live/caledon-day.asp. Brampton also does a Brampton Day.


I believe festivals bring the community and our neighbours together. Many times these festivals are sponsored by the private sector and have limited cost to taxpayers. Other times, it may be appropriate for the town to invest. Festivals attract tourism to our town. It can result in additional business for Main Street and within our town. It creates a town where we can truly live, work and play. The Newmarket Jazz Festival (formerly Aurora Jazz Festival) was the highlight of last summer. Newmarket has lots of good events and festivals in town, but I believe there is potential to do even more. Here are some potential events I would like to see come to Newmarket:


Newmarket Day:


Personally I think it would be a great idea to introduce a "Newmarket Day" in June or during the summer months. The purpose of the day would be to celebrate everything that is great about Newmarket. Our history, our town and our people should be celebrated. I am proud of our town and I would love to showcase Newmarket to outsiders in York Region, the GTA and beyond. I also think this would be a great way to bring the community together, get to know our neighbours and celebrate the Town of Newmarket. I am open to ideas on "Newmarket Day". I believe using "Caledon Day" as a template would be a good start. An organizing committee of volunteers would be the next step. "Caledon Day" was passed by Caledon Council in 2008. Hopefully "Newmarket Day" can be passed early in the next term of Newmarket Council.


Hot Air Balloon Festival:


Many long term residents likely remember the Hot Air Balloon Festival. As a child, I remember hot air balloons flying over my house. It was the highlight of the summer. The festival was held at George Richardson Park. The festival disappeared from Newmarket's calendar of events years ago, but I would like to see those balloons fly again! London currently has an excellent hot air balloon festival. Cornwall, Gatineau and other Canadian municipalities currently have a hot air balloon festival. I have spoken with Newmarket staff and asked what happened to the hot air balloon festival? I am still waiting for an answer as many of the current staff were not working for the town when this festival was going on in town. If there is community interest, I would love to see it return to George Richardson Park.


Fall Fair:


For local charities, sports clubs and organizations; the Magna Hoedown is our most important event in Northern York Region. I believe a perfect compliment to Magna Hoedown would be a Fall Fair. Newmarket has a rich agricultural history and the Holland Marsh on our borders. Ray Twinney Complex may present an appropriate venue for a Newmarket Fall Fair in September. Tying the Newmarket Farmer's Market and Magna Hoedown to a Fall Fair would make sense if this event were to become a reality. There are Fall Fairs in neighbouring communities such as Schomberg. They are often the biggest events of the year in rural and Northern communities.


New Years Eve:


Newmarket is a family town and for some First Night makes sense. First night is a family event where New Years is celebrated. Activities take place at the Magna Centre designed mostly for children. Fireworks happen around 9pm to make sure everyone can get to bed early. I support family friendly options in our town, but Riverwalk Commons offers new potential for New Years Eve in Newmarket. I would like to see a New Years celebration in downtown Newmarket with a concert similar to Celebration Square, Nathan Phillips Square and other communities where New Years celebrations take place.




When I was President of the Newmarket Rotary Club, we looked into the idea of having a Ribfest at Fairly Lake. Unfortunately the Town of Newmarket was not as supportive as the Town of Aurora is with their Ribfest. Start up costs were too high and there was a huge amount of risk based on the overall service club's budget. Weather has an impact on attendance and is impossible to predict months in advance. I think when a group of volunteers come forward with a good idea for a festival that makes sense, the town should be as supportive as possible.


What Festivals to you want to see?


I want to see a Newmarket that is the best place in Canada to raise a family. I do not want our residents to have to travel to Barrie, Aurora, Toronto or elsewhere for entertainment. I have a vision for Newmarket where we take pride in our town. I want to see our neighbours come together. I want Newmarket to be a community in every sense of the word. I will support our volunteers, service clubs and charities that want to host events and festivals that make sense for Newmarket. In a previous blog I made it clear that I do not support nickel and diming our faith community, sports clubs, service clubs and non-profits. Town staff do a great job supporting the events we do now, but we could always add more. What type of festivals and events would you like to see in Newmarket? Please send me your ideas and feedback to 905-716-9655, darrylwolk@Hotmail.com or on social media. Together we can fill the calendar with summer events and festivals!


Thank you for reading...


Darryl Wolk

Newmarket Regional Councillor Candidate