Peter Fitzsimons remembers when the Rotary Club of Sarnia Bluewaterland first took over a struggling Art in the Park event from the Bright’s Grove Gallery in the Grove organizers that had run the event for several years.
“That was in 2011 and we’ve been at it ever since,” says Fitzsimons, who co-chairs the event with Henry Kulik.
What has transpired in those seven years is a dramatic upswing from a fundraising perspective, with last year’s gross receipts totalling about $20,000.
It’s money that the Rotary Club is reinvesting in projects designed to benefit the entire community, one being the installation of playground equipment at Centennial Park, a $150,000 commitment the club made as part of the remediation/redevelopment effort.
Another ongoing investment in the community comes in the form of the International Flag Plaza just north of the Blue Water Bridges.
This Saturday, Kulik and Fitzsimons expect a total of 5,000 people to flow into Mike Weir Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is by donation.
Visitors will also be able to take advantage of various food options, including Sitara Restaurant, and at least a couple of food trucks.
There are also plans for face painting and temporary (henna) tattoos. The Gallery in the Grove will also be featured at the event.
“It’s going to be a great day,” said Kulik, who with Fitzsimons and others will be busy on Friday getting ready for Saturday’s influx of people.
“There will be lots of opportunities for people to buy gifts, for birthdays and other events, including Christmas,” added Kulik. “Come out and enjoy yourself!”