Fun and festivity is set to full mast for the next few days.
Tugfest is happening at the Midland town dock this weekend with more than 20 boats arriving to join in the festivities of entertainment, demonstrations, and a parade.
“People can come down and talk to the captains at length,” said Bob Corrigan, chairman of Tugfest and captain of the Cambrian. “If they’re interested in tugs, this is the place to come.”
Admission is free with entertainment available on the dock for all ages.
“It’s downsized this year because of COVID,” Corrigan acknowledged. “We’re not having the usual tug tours and races, but we’re having a light parade Friday night at 9 p.m., and then tomorrow we’re having a demonstration out in the harbour.”
Over the past eight years, Tugfest has brought 7,000 visitors to the town on its annual three-day event.
Paul Gaynor is the captain of the Presconont, the largest tugboat in the harbour, as well as a committee member for Tugfest.
“When we bring in 20-28 historic tugs that are very unique, it has a tendency to draw the tourists in, bring the people down, and give them an event to go to,” said Gaynor. “As well, the town puts on a lot of entertainment: the buskers, the kids’ activities, and so forth.”
Kai Stuewe of Penetanguishene is the captain of Black Watch, a tugboat which he acquired in Florida and brought back as one of his fleet.
“(Tugfest) gets all the old gang back together again, and we see all the modifications they’ve done,” said Stuewe. “A lot of these have been converted to pleasure boats from work boats, and it’s interesting to see the ideas that people come up with, and their new ways of doing things.”
Entertainment on the dock will continue throughout the weekend.
On Friday, the tugboat light parade will take place within Midland harbour at dusk (8:45 p.m.).
On Saturday, a tug parade will happen starting at 1 p.m., with tug viewing and entertainment through until 6 p.m.
Boats will disperse to their ports of call on midday of Sunday.
Information on the event is available on the Tugfest website at www.tugfestgeorgianbay.com or at the Tugfest page on Facebook.
Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca