Throughout the 2024 Art on the Waterfront event there was plenty of musical entertainment on the stage set up in the “old town square”. Thompson Goddard Photo

CHESTERVILLE – The “new town square”, at the corner of Water, Main and King Streets, and the “old town square” at the corner of Mill and Victoria Streets were full of people, vendor booths and sports demonstrations on the first day of the annual Art on the Waterfront (AOTW) event.  The weather cooperated and there was a great turnout for the event which signifies the beginning of the summer season.

Events on June 1 included the opening ceremonies, lots of vendors with a plethora of items to choose from, demonstrations from Therien Martial Arts and Fitness Centre, Wild and Free Spirit Line Dancers and the Ashley Thomas School of Dance.

Throughout the day people were able to take a ride on a train operated by JMS Train Rides or see model trains during the Seaway Train Show.  Tribeck Inflatables provided inflatable rides, with youngsters able to enjoy crafts, bubbles, chalk art and face painting in the Kids Zone near to or inside The Gathering House. A performance by Junkyard Symphony was planned for the early afternoon, with a colouring contest for children.

On the south side of the Nation River in the “old town square”, there were several bands playing during the event and food provided by Chesterville firefighters.  The Heritage Centre at 14 Victoria Street was open, with members reporting a fantastic turnout of people interested in viewing the artifacts located there and learning about the history of the community.

The opening ceremony which included Hugh Metcalfe piping in the volunteers and dignitaries.  Art on the Waterfront Chair Carrie (Keller) O’Neil, thanking the people and organizations who supported the event in various ways.  These included SDG Tourism, the Municipality of North Dundas, local businesses, and Peter Gilroy of Optimal Show Experience.

“Such a wonderful event” exclaimed ND Mayor Tony Fraser as he thanked Carrie for her leadership of the committee.  He continued how this event showcases the local talent and enables people to come together.

Following the opening ceremonies, the new mural, replacing the 18-year-old mural, was unveiled. It is located on the bridge side of The Gathering House building, known to many as the historic Fulton Block.

All in all, the first day of the 2024 AOTW was a day filled with excitement and fun for all who attended.