Followup performances by DJ Mc Marx and Toe Jam Tequilla complimented the upbeat feel of the opening act. And for Valley East Days co-ordinator Chris Vitiello, the success of opening night and the rest of the weekend was never in doubt, thanks to the hard work of the people who make the festival possible.
He has helped plan the event over the last couple of years. Vitiello has helped make Valley East Days a staple in the Greater Sudbury festival season. He attributes its recent surge in popularity to a change in venue and the involvement of more local businesses.
Vitiello says he has learned much over the past three years that and that has helped shape Valley East Days. The most important lesson?
“I have learned the value of knocking on the door of every business in town and getting them involved,” he said.
As a result, most festivals events are free.
On Friday, vendor booths outside the Hanmer Valley Shopping Center were well attended, with plenty of people milling about and buying souvenirs. Furthermore, a free photo booth offered people a chance to take pictures with props and costumes.
On the edge of the festival grounds, some of the more hardy festival goes were taking Remax Hot Air Balloon rides. Families, meanwhile, were able to enjoy themselves in the inflatable play land. Children happily scurried up the slides, ran the obstacle courses and played in the blow up farm yard. A Harley Davidson Ride Simulator allowed people to take a motorcycle for a spin. The Teddy Bear Picnic and the Amazing Renee Magic Show brought in many participants and a large audience on Saturday and was popular.
The competition offered up by the mining games was also a focus. It was open to all who wanted to register and good entertainment. If this was not someone’s cup of tea then the exercise offered by the Zumba Salsa Bliss surely got the heart pumping.
On tap tonight (Saturday) are three tribute bands: Keeping the Faith (Bon Jovi), Who Made Who Z(AC DC) and Mamakin (Aerosmith). The music starts at 7:30.
Tomorrow (Sunday), balloon rides begin at 9 a.m., followed by a breakfast with some members of city council at 10. Other events include the annual fiddle contest, classic car show and a magic show. For a full list of events, go to valleyeastdays.com.