The venues are secured, the bands are booked and the hosts are ready, but St. Anthony Come Home Year 2019 may be in jeopardy of being cancelled.
Marilyn Walker, who is heading up the committee for the event scheduled for July 20-27, told The Northern Pen last week only approximately 150 people had registered so far.
“Registration is crucial right now,” she said. “We have until the end of February to make an executive decision. If we don’t get around 500 or 600 people registered by the end of February, we’ll have to make an executive decision.”
Walker does not think lack of interest has anything to do with the fact this will be the third come home year for St. Anthony in the past seven years. She said in the lead-up to planning, there were 1,300 people who expressed interest, but noted the 2015 committee had the same issue with early registration.
“We’re a little disappointed,” she said. “We’ve seen so much in the last couple of years that had to be cancelled because of procrastination from people.
“St. Anthony seems to be a location where a lot of procrastination happens. Well, procrastination leads to cancellation and people need to realize that.”
Another challenge, she explained, has been the lack of a festival office, but the come home year has a Facebook page and registration is available by telephone at 709-450-0030.
On a positive note, Walker said registration picked up after the new year, particularly when they published the full schedule (see sidebar) on Jan. 15 and announced headliner Green River Revival, a Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) tribute band.
The committee is currently looking to the local community to step up and start promoting the event.
“Tourism is a great opportunity for St. Anthony,” Walker said. “These people coming home is going to put money into the community.
“It’s going to affect every business and every aspect of not only St. Anthony but the outlying areas and I think that maybe it’s time for our municipality leaders, our chamber of commerce, our business people to maybe step up and help support this even by registering because these are the businesses and the people it’s going to affect the most.”
More than 30 events and seven bands are planned for the week, including new activities for pre-teens and teens and boat rides so returning former residents can get out and feel the salt spray again. Walker said the planning was informed by consultation.
“This schedule is done up because of the people,” she explained. “We went to the people, this executive, this time and asked for input of what they wanted. We went to the people and we listened to them on what they wanted for this come home year, so this is what we’ve done.”
Now it’s time for the people to make it happen, she said.
Registration is $60 for adults, $30 for youth (5-18). Children under five are free. Registered attendees will get first dibs on and discounted prices for concert and event tickets.
Come Home Year scheduled events
1. Teen Scavenger Hunt. (RO)
2. Craft Fair
3. Newfie Scoff at RC Legion
4. Kids Sports Day (RO)
5. Adult Only Bonfire w/music (RO)
6. Row Boat Competition (RO)
7. Adult Valentine’s Dance (Registered Discount Only)
8. Adult Open Mic (RO)
9. Kids/Teen Open Mic (RO)
10. Grenfell Heritage Day
11. Touton Meet n’ Mingle Morning (RO)
12. Candle Light Remembrance And Gospel Concert (RO)
13. Adult Sports Day (RO)
14. Breakfast at the RC Legion (RO)
15. Ball Game Competition (RO)
16. ‘70s Adult Dance (Registered Discount Only)
17. Kids Special Activity (RO)
18. RC Legion Bingo
19. Opening Ceremonies (RO)
20. Fishing Point Afternoon (RO)
21. RC Legion Lunch (RO)
22. Memorial Lantern Release and Music (RO)
24. Opening Night Dance (Registered Discount Only)
25. Pre-Teen/Teen Dance (RO)
26. Kids Only Bonfire (RO)
27. Registration Check In (RO)
28. Special Dance Night (RO)
29. Closing Ceremonies (RO)
30. Closing Night Dance (Registered Discount Only)
* (RO) Registered guest only
BANDS AND MUSICIANS
Mitchell Hunt and Band
Mitchel Hunt and Sam Strangemore
Corey Colbourne and Band