The announcement earlier this week that Sarnia’s preeminent annual music festival Rogers Bayfest will be on hiatus indefinitely has likely left a lot of heads spinning and hearts broken.
After all, Bayfest has become the area’s largest entertainment tradition of the year and has filled Sarnia’s Centennial Park with tens of thousands each year since 1999. The award-winning annual multi-day, multi-genre outdoor summer party is responsible for helping catapult Sarnia onto the national stage over the past decade and its charitable wing Bayfest Festival of Performing Arts has donated in excess of $1 million to charitable organizations and scholarships.
While we wait for the festivals highly anticipated return from hiatus, it’s only normal and expected that many of the thousands of locals who looked forward to the annual music festival each year will start looking toward an alternative to fill the proverbial summer void.
ENTER – Rock The Park… London’s preeminent annual summer music festival held in Harris Park.
It’s held around the same time of year and is close enough to be a practical alternative for those of us who just can’t imagine the dog days of summer without a weekend of rockin’ music, great food and overflowing beverages shared with family and friends.
This year will see Rock The Park celebrate its 10th Anniversary with nothing less than an inaugural night that will be double-headlined by The Trews and The Tragically Hip. The next two evenings will continue the trend of great music with a myriad of all-time classics that include Journey, Whitesnake and Styx – just to name a few – with several bands still to be announced in the coming weeks by the organizers, Jones Entertainment Group.
Just as Bayfest has been a huge local supporter of charity and education, Rock The Park was created to support Bethany’s Hope Foundation’s research into Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD). The organizers said when the effects of this terrible disease hit close to home, claiming the life of seven year old Bethany McIntyre, friendship and hope came together with a vision to “Rock for a Cure.”
“With over $1.5 million raised to date, Rock the Park is entering its tenth year with a renewed vision to grow the appeal for younger audiences while staying true to its original Classic Rock roots and the fans that have supported the event since day one. The festival is about holding on to hope, having fun and bringing back some great memories of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s rock!”
Rock The Park is scheduled to kick off Thursday, Jul. 25, with gates open at 4:30 p.m. For more information about the lineup or tickets, visit the event’s website at www.rockthepark.ca or contact the Centennial Hall box office at (519) 672-1967, toll-free (888) 999-8980.