Rockwood Party in the Park growing

BRUCEDALE – Guelph-Eramosa Township is expecting a large crowd for its 3rd annual Party in the Park, with food, music, beer and events ranging from button making to axe throwing.

The free event is scheduled for Aug. 1 at Rockmosa Park in Rockwood, on the Thursday before the civic long weekend, starting at 5pm and finishing with fireworks at 9:30pm.

The number of food trucks has been doubled to 16, after eight sold out in the previous two years, according to a June 17 report to council by parks and recreation director Robin Milne.

“Staff are anticipating this event to have the largest attendance to date,” said Milne, noting that 2,500 people have indicated interest on the Party in the Park Facebook page.

“This event is going to grow,” said Mayor Chris White, noting that parking improvements are in progress. “People are proud to have it in their community.”

For the third year, the event has two local business sponsors, Tammy Sells Rockwood and Cory Young of Cooperators Insurance. Their combined contribution of $17,000 allows for a wider range of activities.

Live music will be performed by Step On It, Transistor Radio and the Campfire Poets, plus buskers, and kids can enjoy costumed Paw Patrol and Minion cartoon characters.

There will be a children’s performance tent, a basketball skills station featuring the professional Guelph Nighthawks, a hockey skills station, a rock climbing wall, face painting and a petting zoo.

There will be a balloon artist, a gaming truck and a display by Wild Ontario. The axe throwing station is limited to those 13 and older, and closed-toe shoes are required.

The fire department will have equipment on display, and there will be children’s programming offered outdoors by the library. Participants can also use the skate park and splash pad.

Milne said there is the possibility of tethered hot air balloon rides, but this is not confirmed yet, and it would depend on the weather.

He encourages local residents to walk to the event or ride their bikes and use the staffed bike lock-up area. Re-usable cups are also recommended for the water fill-up station and licensed area.