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The 2018 Battle of the Blades skaters at their dress rehearsal April 13, ready to perform April 20.

Hub Staff

After weeks of practice and with less than a week to show time, the 18 Battle of the Blades teams came together at the Plex in Port Elgin on April 13 to practice their routines in costume. Each of the skating pairs executed their own routines and the group polished an opening and closing performance before family members, a few spectators and members of the press.

The second Battle of the Blades fundraiser, presented by the Saugeen Shores Skating Club, will be held on Friday, April 20, at the Plex, 600 Tomlinson Drive in Port Elgin, where teams will compete in one of four divisions: Under 12, 13-18, Family and Adult. Tickets are by donation with half of the proceeds going in support of Caitlyn Cobean's Community Crusaders.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. with the show getting underway at 7 p.m. After the success of the inaugural event in 2016, which saw a capacity crowd, Battle of the Blades Co-Producer Janet Dawson recommended arriving early.

“We did have to turn people away [in 2016],” said Dawson, suggesting that people arrive for the social hour before the show, where there will be food served by Little Black Dog Catering, beverages for adults and children, pictures of the teams and raffles. “Come and relax and then you can find your seat and make sure you get in...come early is the secret for sure,” she said.

Dawson said the teams are surprised at how quickly their practice time had gone but that they were ready for the show. “They've worked really hard,” she said. “The numbers are all very different, there's a wide variety of music, and there's some real characters. You can really see the themes coming through. It's a lot of fun.”

Praising sponsors, volunteers and everybody who has been involved in the show in some way, Dawson said she was not surprised by those who had leant a hand. “This is one of the most wonderful communities to live in and grow up in and it’s pretty consistent - when someone needs help, people show up,” she said. “This night is all about having a good time and bringing everyone together and celebrating who we are.”

The Under 12 Battle of the Blades teams are:

Sophia Seifried and Britain Marshall
Abigail Pilger and Anderson Leaver
Rylee Simmonds and Kai Bailey
Allie McMeekin and Lucas Harris
Rowen Simmonds and Cooper Ring
Madison Kerr and Wyatt McNabb

The 13-18 teams are:

Cassidy Belanger and Talan Martin
Kierra Rhyno and Patrick Fenton
Hannah Weisgerber and Brady Moulton

The Family team is:

Aurora Playfair and Dan Playfair

The Adult teams are:

Jordaine Leeder and Dylan Cobean
Jared Kerr and Rose Witteveen
Melanie Marshall and Just Mathias
Kara McGuire and Ethan Primeau
Cynthia Seifried and Len Arnold
Jenn Wallace and Colin Morano
Kristyn Morrison and Andy Barnard
Lee-Erin Henderson and Darryl Henderson

Rylee Kai2

Rylee Simmonds and Kai Bailey, who will perform in the Under 12 category, are the youngest participants at this year’s Battle of the Blades event.

Kierra Patrick2

Kierra Rhyno and Patrick Fenton will perform in the 13-18 category.

Aurora Dan2

Joining forces in the Family category are father and daughter team Aurora and Dan Playfair.

Kristyn Andy

Kristyn Morrison and Andy Barnard performing at the April 13 dress rehearsal are one of eight teams in the Adult category for the April 20 Battle of the Blades event.