Turtlefest returns June 15-17

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Get ready for flaming baseball bats, high flying aerial acts and plenty of delicious ice cream when the Turtlefest Downtown Block Party returns to Tillsonburg on Friday, June 15.

“We’re so pleased to have Shaw’s Ice Cream as our presenting sponsor this year,” said Erica Patenaude, a member of the Block Party organizing crew, in a media release. “They’re a family-oriented company with strong ties to Tillsonburg so it’s a perfect fit.”

“My sisters Kristine, Kim and I were all born and raised in the Tillsonburg area,” said Shaw’s co-owner Kelly Heleniak. “We’ve watched Turtlefest grow each year and love the idea of sharing our story throughout the weekend.”

“Turtlefest - and especially the Block Party - is about bringing people together,” added fellow crew member Karlee Slattery. “It’s the one night of the year where the whole town comes out and participates in something together - the restaurants, the businesses, the churches, the community groups. It’s a giant neighbourhood gathering.”

On Friday, June 15, Broadway (from Bridge Street to Baldwin/Oxford) will be closed to vehicle traffic from 12 p.m. onwards, with the event officially getting underway at 5 p.m.

“We’ve booked some amazing street performers who will keep the crowds entertained throughout the entire night,” said Slattery. “We’ve got jaw-dropping aerial acts, juggling, stilt walking, a 3D chalk artist and more.”

Rounding out the Friday evening of free entertainment will be a host of food and beverage options, interactive games, inflatables, classic car show and even an old-fashioned charity Dunk Tank featuring local celebrities like Tillsonburg mayor Stephen Molnar.

The Country 107.3 stage - always a crowd pleaser - will get rolling at 7 p.m. on the 15th with performances by Canadian country music acts Buck Twenty, Nicole Rayy, Leah Daniels and headliner Andrew Hyatt.

“People can bring their lawn chairs or save the hassle and purchase tickets to the licenced VIP area,” said Carolyn Lamers, Country 107.3 general station manager. “The VIP zone this year will feature premium seating near the stage, local food options, cash bar, dance area plus the opportunity to win prizes throughout the night.”

Tickets to the VIP area are $30 each and are available through

Annandale NHS

On Saturday, Annandale National Historic Site will once again host its free annual lawn party, featuring the ever-popular turtle find and free interactive activities for families.

Station Arts Centre

Love to bake? The Turtley Treats Baking Contest at the Station Arts Centre on Saturday the 16th will give participants a chance to submit their best turtle inspired baking creation.

Memorial Park

“On Saturday, the party moves up to Memorial Park, Annandale National Historic Site and the Station Arts Centre,” said Turtlefest festival director Les Anderson. “It’s Father’s Day weekend, so there will be a number of activities with inter-generational appeal. We want to make sure there’s something for all ages.”

For a $5/day per person entry fee (ages 3-and-under free), visitors to Memorial Park Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17 can enjoy a variety of activities including:

Whiskey Jack concert featuring the stories and songs of Stompin’ Tom (Sat).

Creative Imaginations Festival presented by Station Arts Centre (Sat).

Demonstrations by The Carver Kings presented by BreezeWood Floors and Bamford Homes (Sat/Sun).

Live local talent on the Tillsonburg Hydro stage (Sat/Sun).

Inflatables zone (Sat/Sun).

Artisan and food vendors (Sat/Sun).

Canine Watersports competition (Sat/Sun).

To learn more about how you can get involved in Turtlefest, including sponsorship opportunities, visit



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