By Ewa Chwojko-Srawley

With over 4,000 enthusiastic visitors, 30 local vendors, and High Street businesses bustling with customers, the Festival on High was a roaring success.

Despite the gloomy sky and occasional raindrops, the spirit of festival-goers remained undampened.

“What an incredible day! It was a blast for families, and the event was impressively well organized. This was our first time attending, and we couldn’t have been more delighted,”
said Patty Parsons, who brought her granddaughters Bella and Addy.

“We indulged in some shopping, adorned ourselves with henna tattoos, and savoured delicious hot dogs. I’m already marking it on my calendar for next year’s festivities.”

Elaine Coates, owner of Black River Coffee and one of the masterminds behind the festival, was delighted with the turnout.

“Our goal was to bring families together and to strengthen our community and we accomplished that,” she said.

Beside her were Debbie Macina-Balinas (owner of Sweet Pea Boutique) and Phil Greenspoon, members of the event team, which were ably supported by Sutton BIA Chair, Dale Hache, and his wife, Lindsay.

Coates added, “After the great success of our Winter Whoville Festival, we couldn’t resist the idea of having a twin event in the summer.”

Debbie Macina-Balinas & Elaine Coates
Irene McNeil and Cherie Shepherd from the Kinette Club of Sutton
And they’re off…
Applause for the first place duck which won $500
Spectators line bridge as drone photo bombs the finish line
Kinette Jennifer Lindsay announces the winning ducks
Ward 4 Coun. Dale Genge dunks Georgina Post Publisher Mike Anderson

To create an even bigger impact, the team joined forces with the Kinette Club of Sutton, organizers of the immensely popular annual rubber duck race aimed at benefiting local charities.

This year, all tickets were snatched up faster than you can say “quack,” and a bustling crowd gathered around the bridge, cheering on the racers and having a quacking good time.

Sutton Kinette volunteers Cherie Shepherd and Irene McNeil were quick to emphasize that our community’s generosity never fails to astound them.

Chico Singh, a woodworker, agreed. “I am speechless, how much positive energy is here. It’s a great way to connect with the community,’ he said.

Joanna Kanarellis, the owner of VIVID Cosmetic Clinic, also praises the joyful atmosphere of the festival. She added, “I appreciate the opportunity it provides for networking. It’s also the perfect platform for promoting my business while getting to know other enterprises in town.”

As the rainclouds finally parted and the festivities drew to a close, one thing was clear: the festival proved that even when it pours, our community reigns!

Vendor Stephanie Fay Hofman with her mermaid tail
Vendor Cynthia Carleton, Inspired Cynsations