Headline News

Happy 30th Maynooth Madness

September 3, 2019

Sept. 3, 2019

By Chris Drost

Described by organizers as being 30 years in the making, the successful 30th annual Maynooth Madness on Saturday, Aug. 31 was a testament to the community that made it happen. The Maynooth and Hastings Highlands Business Association, the Municipality of Hastings Highlands and North Hastings Children’s Services worked together to create the perfect mix of activities that gave everyone, from the youngest in the family to the oldest, something to smile about.
Madness organizers and council gathered happily in the atrium at the Hastings Highlands Centre for the grand opening ceremonies. Mayor Vic Bodnar briefly welcomed everyone and with the snip of a pair of scissors, cut the ribbon and declared the 30th Maynooth Madness open.
Joey Shulman, who was instrumental in pulling all the pieces together for the anniversary, said, “I am so happy to see so many families out enjoying the event.”
Jessica Anderson, executive director of North Hastings Children’s Services said, “NHCS is grateful to be included. This is always a great event and I am pleased to see an increase in families with children attending. It is nice to see familiar faces and new ones.”
Circus Jonathan, a performer on stilts from Toronto who has been part of Maynooth Madness on a number of occasions, entertained a group of children who appeared amazed at Jonathan’s height and his juggling tricks. Meanwhile, master of balloons, Mr. Dimples, turned out a variety of custom animal balloons as the kids waited with anticipation for theirs to be completed.
Inside Emond Hall, NHCS offered a variety of fun activities for children, everything from playing with trucks at a sand table to seeing what the inside of a wasp nest looks like.
Organizers cleverly spread out events along the street to bring visitors into the business area of Maynooth rather than keeping them entirely around the farmers’ market and Maynooth community centre. This generated a lot of foot traffic the entire length of the street.
Local artists, Arne Roosman, Ren Lonechild, Val Loney, Carol Westcott, Marc Gagnon and Susan Dunlop welcomed visitors as they created art en plein air along the downtown street while Suzanne Ballantyne busked in front of Wildewood Gallery to raise funds for the Maynooth and Area Foodbank. The work the artists created will be on display at the Hastings Highlands Public Library this fall.
Meanwhile Cec Andrus and his horse and wagon provided free transportation (courtesy of the municipality and M & HHBA) from one part of the event to the other.
Inside the Arlington, history buffs enjoyed Vivian Bloom’s historical slide presentation of Maynooth while in the backyard of Memories Bakery, Mountain Creek Ranch welcomed a steady flow of young visitors at its petting zoo. Some kids even experienced the excitement of their first pony ride sponsored by Doug Olmstead and Sons. The petting zoo was sponsored by North Hastings Family Pharmacy.
For those who preferred to take a rest and have a cool beverage after checking out all the events, The Arlington hosted an afternoon of music outdoors featuring Mary Milne, The Wutnots, some members of local group, The Salt Cellars, After the Revolution (from Killaloe) and Ian Russell.
Soon after the Madness started, vintage cars and motorcycles began to filter into Maynooth heading for the parking area of the Maynooth Public School. The show and shine event brought a crowd of vintage enthusiasts. Best in show in the vintage auto category went to Bruce Lanktree for his ’69 Olds, second place to Daniel Wright for his Edsel Citation and third place to David McLeod for his Corvair. The winners of the best three motorbikes were Chuck Thompson for his 1970 Triumph Chopper, Jim Battelle for his 1975 Honda CB-750 and Gary Mount for his modern/street 2004 Honda Rune.
And finally, a number of vendors gathered at the Maynooth Farmers’ Market providing freshly harvested fruits and vegetables, preserves, home-style baking and a wide variety of arts and crafts.
Inside the old community centre, the Horticultural Fair was in full swing. The tables were lined with the best of the best in locally grown fruit, vegetables, flower arrangements and more.
Winner of the $500 Grail Springs Spa package at the Maynooth and Area Food Bank raffle draw was Vern Cannon.
Maynooth Madness has reinvented itself numerous times over its 30 year history. When one group dropped out, someone else has always stepped up to keep the fun going. The 30th Maynooth Madness was something special. In the words of Anderson, “All around, a great day!”



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