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Community invited to free Labour Day festival

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Aug 09, 2014 - 11:15 AM |
 The third annual Labour Day Family Fun Fest takes place Sept. 1 in Bell Park. From left are organizing committee members Bert Purcell, Jessica Lafontaine and Brenda Courchesne. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

The third annual Labour Day Family Fun Fest takes place Sept. 1 in Bell Park. From left are organizing committee members Bert Purcell, Jessica Lafontaine and Brenda Courchesne. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Unifor has come on board for event's third year

Even if he wasn't on the organizing committee for the third annual Labour Day Family Fun Fest, Richard Eberhardt said as the father of two young kids, he'd definitely be at the event anyway.

Running at Bell Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 1, the union-sponsored festival features numerous children's activities, including “every bouncy castle kind of activity and game that we can fit in the park,” he said.


There's also a barbecue, live music by local performers, displays by emergency services personnel and the military and games and giveaways put on by local unions.

And — wait for it — it's all free of charge. “It's a no-stress kind of event, as far as money is concerned,” said Eberhardt.

Although the festival is free, organizers will be collecting donations for a local charity. Just what that charity is will be announced in the coming weeks.

The community has turned up in droves for the event's first few years, with a turnout of 8,000 in its first year, and 14,000 in its second.

Planning the festival is a lot of hard work, but it's all worth it when you see the little kids having a great time, said Family Fun Fest organizing committee chair Jeff Barry. “I haven't heard a bad comment since we started,” he said.

The city's labour community makes many contributions to the community that people don't necessarily know about, including charitable donations, said Eberhardt. Family Fun Fest is a way for unions to reach out to Sudburians in a more tangible way, he said.

For its first two years, the festival was largely funded thanks to generous donations by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175 and the United Steelworkers Union.

This year, Mine Mill Local 598/Unifor has also come on board as a major sponsor.

“The three quintessential Sudbury unions are now going to be together, running Labour Day in Bell Park,” Eberhardt said.

Bert Purcell, who sits on the union's organizing board, explains that for years, Local 598 held its own Labour Day party, but attendance at that event has been dwindling lately.

While he's not sure whether or not that's because of the Bell Park event, he said Unifor is happy to be involved with Family Fun Fest.

“This was another opportunity for us to help the community out,” he said. “I think it's going to be great.”

With the event's popularity, Family Fun Fest organizers are looking for volunteers to help make the day a success.

To sign up as a volunteer, or for more information about the event, search for “Labour Day Family Fun Fest” on Facebook, or visit www.sudburylabourday.ca.
Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer

@heidi_ulrichsen

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