It is a return home three years in the making.
The first Strathroy Hometown Festival since 2019 kicks off with an expanded classic car show and shine taking over downtown Friday, June 10. It is organized by the Strathroy Caradoc Cruisers Car Club, whose Wednesday night gatherings made their triumphant return at the Shops on Sydenham May 4.
The festival formerly know as Turkey is more important than ever to people who call the area home whether they still live here or not, according to Cruisers director Mary Wright.
“The fact they’re getting back, and meeting people in an informal way,” answered Wright when asked what she hears is what people are most looking forward to.
“That’s why the name got changed to Hometown, it’s kind of a reunion to bring people back to town for the day,” said Wright.
And there is a lot more to look forward to after people walk up and down Frank, Front, and Centre Streets before heading to Alexandra park for the frenetic action there.
Festival chairperson Chris Soares and a handful of other volunteers have been working hard to make it happen.
“The majority is staying the same following on our unofficial theme this year of returning to normalcy,” said Soares.
“So a lot of traditional stuff is staying with the festival: the car show, the farmers’ market on Saturday morning, the bike rodeo returning on Saturday morning ... the midway ... We have our karaoke idol competition,” he explained, adding midway thrill seekers should go to worldsfinestshows.com to get tickets before the festival to save money.
A bunch of bands are ready to go well into Friday and Saturday nights. Two-pitch coed softball is taking registrations.
Soares wanted to stress none of this could happen without the sponsors, including presenting sponsor Ricco Foods.
“We have quite a few returning and quite a few new sponsors, which is so fantastic,” said Soares.
The opening ceremony starts at 6pm in the park.
And while live turkeys are a no longer a go for the health unit, somewhere out there is their representative.
“There is a mascot somewhere in the community but nobody knows where to find it. We’re wondering if we should have a ‘where’s Waldo’ contest one year just to find where that costume is,” laughed Soares.
Chris Gareau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner