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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Another successful Essex Fun Fest celebrated

by Sylene Argent

Despite the excessive heat and periods of rain experienced during the Essex Fun Fest, which took place between July 4-7, fairgoers still headed out to the Essex Centre Sports Complex grounds to enjoy four-days of entertainment.

With the variety of activities and entertainment, the local fair was sure to satisfy the tastes of just about anyone who passed through the gates.

The Youth Talent Showcase kicked-off the four-day festival on Thursday evening, followed later by Zumba and belly dancing demonstrations.

On Friday, fair entertainment continued with a Martial Arts demonstration, and performances from rock variety group, “Almost Famous,” and, later, county music artist, Marshall Dane.

On Saturday, the 2019 Essex Fun Fest Parade made its way down main street. With the event theme, “Life’s a Beach,” several entries incorporated water into their floats, and in some cases, even sprayed unsuspecting individuals, who were likely appreciative for the cool-off during the heat.

Back at the fairgrounds, attendees enjoyed the annual watermelon eating contest, entertainers Jangles the Clown and BillNuvo, a trick-riding demonstration from the Off Kilter Equine Entertainment Show, and a variety of live music performed throughout the day.

The festival’s music entertainment on Saturday wrapped up with a performance from singer/songwriter Jody Raffoul, who performed after Chris and Laurie Lapain were announced as the 2019 Essex Citizen of the Year award winners, and before the Fun Fest Fireworks spectacle wowed with its flashes of bright colours and thunderous roars of cracks and booms.

Sunday’s festivities started bright and early as residents joined in the Interdenominational Church Service at Sadler’s Pond and stayed for the Onyx Fitness Solutions Yoga Class.

Back at the fairgrounds, area residents tried their luck in the Horseshoe Tournament, which the Essex Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 201) sponsored, enjoyed a performance from Roberto - The Painfully Mediocre Magician, several match-ups from Border City Wrestling, Pony Rides for the youngsters, and a demonstration from Zoo2You, which brought a variety of animals to introduce to the fair-goers.

Attendees may have been surprised to learn the musicians in the rock variety band, “Leave Those Kids Alone” were actually in their youth, after hearing their very mature sound. This was one of many bands to provide music entertainment on the Fun Fest Sunday, which wrapped up with “Full Petty Fever,” a tribute to the late rock legend, Tom Petty.

New entertainment to the fair this year, which performed many shows over the course of the festival, was Zop!: A Circus Bonanza.

Essex Councillor, Joe Garon, is the Fun Fest Committee Chairperson. He said the fair was lucky and unlucky with the weather it experienced over its four days in that Essex was lucky it didn’t get the rain some other festivals experienced in the region, but did experience some periods of excessive heat.

Sunday’s attendance at the fair was strong as it was a bit cooler, which made up for any slower times experienced throughout the festival due to the heat or rain. Garon said the vendors were pleased with Sunday’s turnout at the festival as well.

The Essex Festival Committee, which hosts the Essex Fun Fest, Garon said, was a strong group this year, consisting of many volunteers. This is due to the Committee reaching out to the community in the past to ask for help, and residents stepping up to pitch-in.

The idea is to build upon the festival each year and with enough volunteers and sponsors, that can be accomplished. He thanked the festival’s sponsors, Town staff, and volunteers for their commitment as without it, the fair could not be hosted year-after-year.

A goal of the committee is to offer a variety of entertainment, so there is something there for every individual who passes through the admission gate.

For future events, he would like to explore ways to improve parking.

Head over to our facebook page this week for more 2019 Essex Fun Fest photos.


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