Ripley Reunion just days away

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News

The bunting is up, the plans are set and only a few days remain until the All Roads Lead Home Ripley Reunion, which runs July 30-Aug. 3. It will be a fantastic weekend full of events for the whole family.

The central location for the majority of the weekend is the arena and baseball diamond area with free admission to the grounds. Reunion Central is located at 46 Queen Street in Ripley. Hours are Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Fridays from 5-8 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Registration is open from 7-8 p.m.

You can pick up tickets for the youth dance, Railroad to Ripley play or the Elvin impersonator for just $10 each or the kick-off dance for $20 at Reunion Central, Ripley Variety and the township office.

Thursday, July 30

The Ambassador Competition and Civic Awards start Thursday at 8 p.m. at the arena. Marley Martyn, Gregory Reid and Kirsten Walden compete to be the Reunion’s Ambassador, and outstanding community champions will be honoured with awards. There will also be a fun game of Ripley Family Feud featuring some recognizable faces you won’t want to miss!

Tickets are still available for the Youth Dance, upstairs at the arena from 8 p.m. to midnight, featuring DJ Austin Rees of Power Traxs.

Friday, July 31

The Reunion Golf Tournament runs on Friday. If you couldn’t get a team in for this sold-out tournament, drop into Reunion Central from noon-8 p.m. or relive past glories at the Back to School event from 1:30-3 p.m. at Ripley Huron Community School (RHCS).

The Ripley Legion is offering a Chicken Dinner from 4-7 p.m. Then enjoy the inaugural performance of HAWK Theatre’s Railroad to Ripley, a play written by Ripley’s Murray Yungblut and featuring loads of local talent.

The age of majority beer garden, located outdoors in the arena parking lot, opens at 7 p.m. The entry fee is $20 and includes the kick-off dance featuring Blackwater Draw. Dance wristbands have been sold out, but plenty of tickets are still available for Friday and Saturday nights.

Saturday, Aug. 1

Saturday kicks off with Back to School at RHCS from 9-11 a.m. Reunion Central is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. (closed for parade), and registration is open from 9-11:30 a.m. Don’t miss the sports display at Reunion Central on Saturday as well.

The John Borton Kids Show will be held at the ball diamond from 10-11 a.m. before the Mammoth Parade which leaves the Sandy and Marg Pollock farm just east of Ripley (Conc. 8) and runs west on Queen Street to the arena. This will be one of the finest parades you’ll see, with some of Ontario’s top pipe and marching bands, family floats, heavy horses, kids and so much more.

The Opening Ceremonies will follow the parade at the ball diamond. The Lions Club will serve its famous beef on a bun at its fall fair location from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The Craz-E-Crew Stunt Team BMX Bike Show is at 2 p.m. behind the township office. Also starting at 2 p.m. are the Pollock/MacDonald Reunion (beer garden), Figure Skating Club Reunion and banner raising (inside the arena) and the beer gardens (featuring Moe’N the Lawn).

At 3 p.m., the traditional Tug of War will pit men’s, ladies and mixed teams against each other in the ultimate feat of strength at the ball diamond; pre-registration is appreciated. The Kids Road Hockey Tournament begins at 3:30 p.m. on the tennis court, while the Ripley Wolves Reunion and Alumni Mushball games begin at 4 p.m. in the beer garden and ball diamond. All current and former players, coaches, managers, executive and volunteers are invited to this reunion, which runs from 4-7 p.m.

The Shriners Fish Fry will be held from 4:30-7 p.m. in the arena (tickets $15 and available for pre-sale), which will lead into Saturday night’s dances. The Seniors Dance will feature Glen Boyd’s Orchestra and runs from 8 p.m.-midnight on the arena floor. There are no pre-sale tickets, so entry is $10 at the door. In the parking lot, Lulu’s Roadhouse Band will rock the town from 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

Buses will run separate routes to Kinloss/Lucknow, Point Clark and Kincardine after the Saturday and Sunday night dances, so please don’t drink and drive. Please note that the beer garden will be closed on Saturday and Sunday nights from 7-9 p.m. for cleaning and prepping for the dances.

Sunday, Aug. 2

On Sunday, Aug. 2, Reunion Central opens from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Interdenominational Church Service will be held at the arena at 11 a.m. and features Rev. Marian Raynard and guest soloist Susan Ryman, with lunch to follow.

Also at 11 a.m. is the outdoor volleyball tournament, which will be held east of the ball diamond; this is a co-ed event and pre-registration is encouraged.

At 1 p.m., the beer garden open feature Frank MacLennan. At 2 p.m., Ripley’s Amazing Race will see 10 teams of four run around town (on foot) chasing clues. You must be 14 or over; pre-registration is required.

Championship (Las Vegas and Collingwood) Elvis impersonator Roy Leblanc will perform upstairs at the arena at 3 p.m. At 4 p.m. the Beer Garden Olympics will test competitors’ strength and wits in this age of majority event. Please note that all sports events on Sunday are timed so people can take part in all three, so pre-register at ripleyreunion.ca.

The Ham Supper will be held at the arena from 4:30-7 p.m. and tickets can be pre-purchased for $15. This leads into the second and final showing of Railroad to Ripley at 7 p.m., upstairs at the arena.

Sunday night’s festivities are different this year than in the past. There will be no shirt-tail parade, but people are still encouraged to dress up in their finest for the age of majority dance at the beer garden. It is a free event and features Crazymaker, but regular dance and alcohol purchasing rules apply (other than the dress code!).

Monday, Aug. 3

The final day of Reunion 2015 will begin bright and early with Reunion Central opening from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Agricultural Society’s $5 breakfast sandwich will recharge weary celebrators from 10 a.m. to noon at the arena.

Breakfast will provide fuel for competitors in the traditional bed races in downtown Ripley, starting at 1 p.m. Pre-registration is required and please note the rules on what constitutes a proper bed.

At 3 p.m., ventriloquist Randy and Friends will bring over 20 pals to this free, all-ages show, upstairs at the arena. The beer garden will also open with a $5 cover charge, and feature Left Turn Clyde (3-7 p.m.) and then the Brad James Band (9 p.m.-1 a.m.) Please note that we won’t be closing the beer garden from 7-9 p.m. on Monday for cleaning.

The Beard Growing Contest will be held at 4 p.m. in the beer garden; come cheer on the men who have spent all of 2015 growing those glorious beards (and maybe buy their long-suffering wives/girlfriends a drink too!)

The Reunion will be capped off with a stunning fireworks show over the ball diamond. Please leave your dogs at home.

Volunteers

The organizing committee still requires volunteers for its grounds/parking crews; contact Sharon Martin at smartin@hurontel.on.ca or 519-395-4132. It’s a great way to give back to the community and for high school students to log volunteer hours (you must be 18 and older.)

Registration

For registration forms, the complete schedule, area accommodations, a list of our amazing sponsors and more, visit www.ripleyreunion.ca. You can follow the Reunion on Facebook, Twitter @Ripley2015 and Instagram @riplereunion; please use the hashtags #ripley2015 and #allroadsleadhome when you share your memories on social media.