As the colder weather draws nearer, activities are heating up in Meadow Lake.

This Friday and Saturday (Sept. 18 and 19) marks the first-ever Fall Festival, an event organized by two local businesswomen driven to celebrate their community during what they say has been a difficult year for everyone.

“The Fall Festival is an idea that came about after discussing with my friend, Tammy Wigton (owner of McCall’s Hair Design), a way in which we could help bring the community together after what’s been such a stressful time for us all because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” remarked Amber Ambroziak, manager of Aurora Cinemas and co-organizer of the festival. “We also want to do something special before winter hits and we find ourselves, for the most part, once again seeking shelter in our homes.”

The duo received the necessary permission from city hall to close off the 200 and 300 blocks of Centre Street Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and again on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to allow downtown businesses to hold sidewalk sales. Meanwhile, additional vendor tables will be set up on the street to offer a variety of interesting and unique items. The festival will also feature entertainment including a live band. COVID-19 safety measures will be in place and strictly enforced throughout the duration of the event.

Also taking place this weekend will be the first-ever Meadow Lake Community Summer Olympics. Hosted by the Meadow Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, the Olympics take place Friday through Monday at Lions Park.

“Various groups and organizations from throughout the community have been invited to enter teams which will compete in four events in a sort of round-robin event with playoffs taking place at the end,” explained Chamber administrator Trevor Dignean.

The four events include disc golf, bocce ball, horseshoes and ladder golf.

“The Chamber runs the local tourism office on behalf of the city and part of the mandate in doing so includes organizing activities for members of the community to take part in,” Dignean added. “We’re also hoping, with the Fall Festival happening at the same time, the two events will complement each other.”

by Phil Ambroziak