As the Marine Heritage Society gets ready to host the eighth annual Marine Heritage Festival July 27 to 29 in Southampton, members of the nautical society, along with a few stowaways, previewed what a canoe tug of war might look like during a recent barbecue held at Pioneer Park July 4.

Hub Staff

Organizers of the eighth annual Marine Heritage Festival taking place July 27 to 29 promise three Fs. “It’s fun, it’s free, it’s all family oriented,” said Captain Wayne Sparrow (a.k.a. Wayne Kaufman), July 4 during a barbecue at Southampton’s Pioneer Park.

Sparrow described the always entertaining cardboard boat challenge taking place on Saturday, July 28 as a sight to see. For those who do not wish to take their chance floating on cardboard, there is the canoe tug of war where teams of four or five will take to the water and determine who the stronger paddlers are.

The canoe challenge, which is sponsored by the Chi-Cheemaun with equipment provided by Southampton’s Thorncrest Outfitters, made its debut during the 2017 Marine Heritage Festival and organizers are hoping that local businesses, families and service groups can put teams together. “I think everyone that has entered and will enter will have a good time,” said the pirate.

New this year is a bicycle valet free of charge for those attending the festivities at Pioneer Park. Also free are events taking place on opening night, Friday, July 27 at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre. Musical entertainment will be provided by Bobby Dean Blackburn and a barbecue will take place.

Sparrow highlighted Saturday events in Pioneer Park including a pancake breakfast, a children’s gold hunt, vendors, and a Fireman’s Fish Fry.

The final day of the free festival features an ecumenical church service and the third annual War on the Shore


Captain Wayne Sparrow (a.k.a. Wayne Kaufman) with granddaughter Emery during a Marine Heritage Society barbecue July 4.


Members of the Marine Heritage Society provided a free barbecue July 4 ahead of the eighth annual Marine Heritage Festival July 27 to 29.