Serving Dorchester, Belmont, Thorndale, Thamesford, Putnam, Crampton, Avon, Harrietsville-Mossley and surrounding area
Signpost photo by Wendy Spence
SURE SIGN OF SPRING: The Frozen Cow proprietor Tanner Zelenko (left) and his grandmother Vivien Rodgers serve ice cream to a customer on opening day of the Mill Road business on Friday. Tanner said that ice cream cakes are available in anticipation of Mother’s Day this Sunday.

Calithumpian celebrates

a century

by Wendy Spence

        Major festivities are planned in Thamesford this coming long weekend. The Calithumpian festival is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The theme for Cali is: “Ahead by a Century – Cali 100.” The festival runs from Friday, May 17 to Monday, May 20.
        “The Calithumpian Committee has been very dedicated to seeing our May long-weekend festival to its 100th anniversary, and we couldn’t think of a better theme than just that, a century of celebrating community,” explained chair Katie Davies. “Two years ago we were blown away by the performance of the Practically Hip at Cali – a talented Tragically Hip cover band – so we decided to bring them back for our big Saturday night concert. Incorporating the song title Ahead by a Century into our official theme was a fun connection and jumping off point for us to continue our planning for the rest of the weekend’s events.”
        While in the planning stages Davies said it was not the committee’s typical approach of trying to think of new events to add. “Instead, we are marking this monumental anniversary by looking to the past. We have some documented history on the way this town celebrated in the past, however the majority of our research came from listening to the stories from those who have experienced Cali over the decades.” They have added some events from the past to the previous lineup of activities. “It was a great exercise for us a committee to dig back into the variety of ways that this community has come together over the years. We believe that we have a jampacked weekend of events with lots for everyone to enjoy.”
        The highlights for this year start on the Friday night with the Cali-thumpian Cuties’ ball game. “We have a fun-packed Saturday evening with the turkey toss at the beer tent leading up to the Practically Hip concert, as well as laser tag in the arena hall,” said Davies. “We have added a beer tent Sunday, to keep thirsts quenched at the lawnmower races. We have turned the parade route around for Monday, to end up back at the arena with one last beer tent, live band, and a pizza eating contest. All of these highlights are events that we have borrowed from the past, whether it be five or 50 years ago.” The committee promises the fireworks display at dusk on Sunday is guaranteed to be the biggest and best yet, with a boosted budget to mark the special occasion.
        The current committee got involved with Calithumpian four years ago when the previous committee was retiring. “Collectively, we could not let this festival die off before hitting this huge milestone. We all decided to step up and do our part, as so many have before us, to dream up ways to get our neighbours together and celebrate everything wonderful about our community,” explained the committee chair. “Over the past four years we have worked to create a weekend that is fun for everyone, and each year we learn a bit better how to tackle this challenge and work together. We have aimed to take the shared spaces in our community and make them vibrate with positive activity and engagement for the whole May long weekend. We are grateful for those who have done this work before us, and hope that others will want to do it after us. We hope that we have carried on the tradition of fostering community in this little place called Thamesford.”
        The full schedule of events is available at and on the Facebook page. Paper copies have been distributed in the village of Thamesford, as well as the closest rural routes, and are also available for pickup at Thamesford Pizza, Brunny’s Sports Bar and Grill and the Zorra Township office.

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