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Kick off to Summer – Wellesley Barbecue

Last year’s Wellesley barbecue drew in an upwards of 1,200 attendees. Organizers expect this year’s turnout to be similar. [file photo]

It’s not Canada’s 150th, but the start of summer is a pretty good reason for a barbecue. Wellesley Township is doing just that next week, hosting its second annual Backyard BBQ community event.

While last year the event was organized on Canada Day, this year the date is set for June 22. It will feature fireworks, food, fun, and more. It will also feature live music from the classic rock band Crackerjack Palace, who played at the event last year.

“Yeah, we’re definitely looking forward to playing at the barbecue,” said Grand Heywood, who plays drums and lead vocals in the band. “Obviously being I’m from Wellesley Township, there will be a lot of people there that we know. I know Joe Nowak, the mayor. And let’s face it; it’s a small town, so you get to know a lot of people. It’ll be a great event.”

“It was done for the first time last year as a Canada 150 celebration and a community gathering,” added Darryl Denny, the township’s chief building official. “There is no admission price. Food and beverages are paid for this year.”

Organizers expect the turnout to be similar to last year, when an estimated 1,200 people attended.

“Weather pending, we’ll see something similar, maybe a bit less than that,” said Denny. “The more, the merrier, really.”

“We really hope the turnout will be the same,” said Amy Harron, administrative assistant at the Township of Wellesley. “We will have hamburgers, hot dogs and sausage for sale, as well as a community information forum. All departments will be represented at the community forum along with community organizations.”

There are plenty of other features at the event, such as a touch truck.

“That’s something for the kids where they can crawl in and out of the vehicles including a police cruiser, dump trucks, and fire trucks as well,” said Denny.

Members of the band are primarily local. They play a variety of music, including covers of The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Steely Dan and the Eagles. According to Heywood, they prefer to do these types of events.

“We do a lot of fundraiser stuff,” said Heywood. “We’re doing one for Stratford in November for a hospice. I think this is our sixth or seventh year in Bancroft, Ontario where we raise money for a local hospice there. The reason why it’s Bancroft is that Danny, our bass player, is from there. We don’t play hotels at all – we’re not a band to go out and play bars or that sort of thing, we do fundraising type of events. “

While admission is free for the Backyard BBQ, organizers would appreciate a donation to the food bank. There are also several paid events, including the barbecue from 5 to 8 p.m. and a cash bar.

“Essentially, all are welcome,” said Denny. “It’s an excellent family-oriented event with a lot of the community coming together in one place hosted by the municipality. We hope to see lots of people out.”

The Backyard BBQ is set for June 22, running  from 5 to 11 p.m. at the township administrative building, 4639 Lobsinger Line in Crosshill. Anyone interested in learning more can visit www.wellesley.ca.

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