What was started in 1992 by the Windermere Lions Club as a onetime summer Family Fun Day for the Windermere area kids was so successful that it has continued for 30 years. Last year the Lions Club decided that the time had come to have the community share in the planning of the festivities. What fun we have had.
The day starts at 11:30 with John Dutton and Irv Cain of the Windermere Lions Club organizing the participants of the parade in front of Windermere Golf Club. This group consists of the businesses in the community and the people and children who live here summer or year round and it is limited only to their imaginations. It is truly a flash back to the way it was in the 50’s and 60’s.
The street is lined with families and children cheering. This year it all started with Bill Stevenson, a single bag piper followed by Watt School with their Soap Box Derbies, a fire truck and OPP motor cycle with sirens blowing, Mel and Ruth Smith with Allen Edwards our parade Marshall riding in their old convertible, Paul Hammond in his antique car, Hill Crest Lodge driving a golf cart decorated smartly, Windermere Marina, Windermere Golf Club with all the golf and tennis kids riding on a float throwing candy, the country club ground crew driving their shining lawn equipment (going wildly in circles), kids on bicycles and golf carts all decorated and then came the finale, the Windermere House Float.
Last year it was Harry Potter and all the characters. We thought this was the absolute best until this year. All the Disney characters; Mickey, Minnie, Cinderella, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Snow White and the wicked witch came down the street dancing with the children with
the castle coming up behind. It was magical; they were all so beautiful. The parents and children went wild. All of the costumes were crafted by an amazingly talented group of Windermere House Staffers. The heads expertly crafted with paper mache were perfect. When the parade came to an end at the pier the characters stayed and played with the children. It was incredible.
Earlier there had been brisk sales of the Windermere Women’s Institute Bake goods.
It was then time to have a Lions Club’s barbeque lunch and the Windermere children were off to the games.
The Lake Rosseau Golf Pitch is started early by Brian McElwain and Gary Kinsella challenging the competitors of all ages; the trophy is won when your ball lands in the boat anchored off shore. Enthusiastic children and parents joined in; so many laughs. Jeffery Curlew, employee at the Windermere Golf Club, at 13 still holds the title from last year.
Liz Beane started the games for children of all ages on the hill with the three legged race, sac race and the ballon toss and after, they ran down the hill to the beach where the swim & noodle races were starting. Cathy Campbell took the lead in the water races with Jennifer Shakespeare, Arthur Richards and young Jonathan Steeves helping; so much fun and a perfect day to be in the water. Immediately after all this it was to the Canoes to start the races. Last year Peter Seybold took the lead and this year it was Bob Campbell, helped by many volunteers. We give many thanks to our neighbouring cottages and Windermere Marina for lending us their canoes and for Sara and Tom Whittaker and Conor Kinsella for picking them up and delivering them home again.
In the middle of all these activities is the Arts and Crafts table, which is run by Mike Benton and Tessa Barnett with the help of volunteers. A large bowl of cool Watermelon sits in the middle of the table surrounded by small children peacefully drawing and painting. It was bliss.
Meghan and Katie Beane created a new game called ‘Kerplunk’and their aunt Kara O’Riley helped. The new toss game was a great success. Then we had our draw which this year was for tube rides from Ride Muskoka Ski School at Windermere Marina and a Round of Golf for 4 from Windermere Golf Club. The sale of our tee shirts was brisk; all moneys going to support the day.
The evening program consists of music by D.J. Wayne Poole and the Laurie McKinnon Country Band. The finale was the Fire Works at dusk, organized by the Windermere Lion’s Club members John Dutton and Irv Cain. Another great Windermere Family Fun Day was enjoyed by all.
Susan Kinsella: Windermere Family Fun Group