Rockin’ for the ODR
Members of the Crysler Firefighters Association were busy raising money for the Crysler ODR during the Crysler Winter Carnival. They began rocking at 5 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 16 and concluded their fundraiser at 5 p.m. the next day, with 10-minute breaks every hour during the rockathon. Front row, from the left: Claude Quesnel, Danielle Linnett, Marcel Lafrance. Middle row, from the left: Dan Richer, Lucie Briere, Martin Fogarty. Back row, from the left: Frank Landry, Luc Rochon, Kevin Lapp, Mike Lapp, Crash. Thompson Goddard photo

Adults and children alike were mesmerized by the balancing ability of Brian Wilson during The Cowguys children’s variety show at the Crysler Winter Carnival. Thompson Goddard photo

CRYSLER – Another successful Crysler Winter Carnival has come to an end and the volunteers who have spent the last six months or so planning the multitude of family-centered events are to be congratulated.

The 2020 Winter Carnival in this small North Stormont town had a jam-packed five-day schedule, beginning with a well-attended bingo session on Wed., Feb. 12. While Old Man Winter played havoc with a blustery Feb. 13 evening, it didn’t stop guests attending the carnival’s Ladies Night event. This event featured about 18 local vendors. Danielle Linnett, a member of the carnival organizing committee, explained that Ladies Night is one-stop shopping for ladies, with estheticians, a massage therapist, and Tom Manley and Isabelle Masson providing instruction on and demonstrations of ballroom dancing.

A meet-and-greet supper, celebrating Franco-Ontarian culture with a French Canadian menu, was held on Fri., Feb. 14. Linnett said there were between 130 and 140 people at the event, which included a meal of pork stew and meat pie followed by French Canadian singing and square dancing by Louis Racine & Les Pourquoi Pas Group. She said there was hardly a person in their seat when square dance caller Louis Racine began guiding dancers through the intricate steps of the various square dances.

Saturday was a day full of fun experiences for people of all ages. The day began with a well-attended open house event at the adjacent Crysler Branch of the SDG County Library, including a craft and story. Later, the ever-popular J-Glow Party at the CCC, public skating at the ODR and snowshoeing on the Lagoon Trail filled the afternoon.

The fourth annual Tony’s Rockathon, in memory of Antoine (Tony) Briere, began at 5 p.m. with members of the Crysler Firefighters As­sociation rocking for 24 hours to raise money for the Crysler ODR. North Stormont deputy mayor Frank Landry, who is a captain at the Crysler Fire Station, reported that almost $3000 was raised in this year’s rockathon. Lucy Briere, a relative of Tony Briere, said on Sunday afternoon that she “had a wonderful time” at the event. Landry noted that SDSG MP Eric Duncan had joined the rockers for a few minutes and planned to return for the spaghetti dinner later that day.

A dinner and comedy show completed the Saturday events at the carnival. CCC vice president Luc Breton said the silent auction at Saturday’s dinner raised almost $1300 for the children’s playground fund. Throughout the carnival, Breton was busy providing information on the proposed playground equipment and raising money for a new mural for the playground. Breton explained that the seven-panel mural, which has a honey and bee motif, will be painted by Jacques Meilleur. At one end of the mural there will be 51 honeycombs on which the personal or business name of those who donate $75 or more will be placed.

The final day of the carnival, Feb. 16, began with a breakfast served by firefighters from the North Stormont Fire Station in Crysler. Throughout the day there were several activities, including horse-drawn sleigh rides, the popular Games to Go Truck and a children’s variety show performed by the Cowguys. A friendly competition has existed for a few years with an annual North vs South youth and adult hockey game. The Northside teams are composed of people living north of the river, with Southside team members living south of the Nation River. Linette told The Chesterville Record in a post-event email, “After four years of the Northside winning the North vs South games, the Red Southside has come out victorious.” Both the youth and adult Southside teams win “bragging rights for a year.” A spaghetti dinner followed the afternoon events and the carnival ending with early evening fireworks.

There is little doubt the hard work by community volunteers and event sponsors will have served to instill beautiful memories of Carnaval d’hiver de Crysler Winter Carnival 2020 for all those who attended the events.