Queensborough will be celebrating its past and its future at the new Queensborough Festival.
The festival, taking place on Saturday, Sept. 15 from 3 to 7 p.m., features live entertainment, children’s activities (including oversized games like Yahtzee and Connect 4), food, community booths, a youth competition at the all-wheel park and more.
“The Queensborough Community Centre is celebrating 40 years in Queensborough,”
said Renee Chadwick, facility manager. “It’s really about celebrating living in Queensborough and inviting people to come back.”
A pop-up museum will feature some items from the old building, including quilts that once hung on walls, part of Edna Anderson’s doll display, books written about Queensborough, the front door of the safe that was in the old community centre and photos from past events at the community centre.
“We have got some residents that have dropped things off that we are going to display. There might be surprises along the way,” Chadwick said. “We have actually worked with (the city’s) archives and produced pictures of all the May Queens that came from Queensborough.”
Community members of all ages, past and present, are invited to attend the festival.
“We are going to have an all-wheel jam event that is part of the festival. It will be a competition in the all-wheel park for youth,” Chadwick said. “It really is about zero to 99 years. There’s something for everybody. And it’s dog friendly – we are getting a new off-leash dog area in Ryall Park. That’s going to start in the fall."
Organized by the Queensborough Special Programs Committee and the Queensborough Community Centre, the festival includes components of newer community events, such as children’s activities from the Queensborough Children’s Festival and the Boro All-Wheel Jam, and some old favourites like Queensborough Ethnic Days which includes food by groups like the Roma Hall, the Sikh temple and the Knights of Columbus.
Harkening back to the Queensborough Urban Farmers Fall Fair, last held in 2011 before the community centre was expanded and renovated, this weekend’s event includes contests for carved zucchini cars, homemade fruit pies and home-grown floral arrangements.
“There is a reunion element to the event, being the 40th anniversary of the centre. People are coming back. There is some buzz in the community that they are coming back to meet old friends,” Chadwick said. “We are trying to bring some old traditions back. People – if they come for this – they want to remember certain elements. We wanted to incorporate that.”
While Queensborough has changed a lot through the years, residents’ connection to the community centre have never wavered.
“Queensborough has always been a community with heart. The community centre has always been the centre of the community,” Chadwick said. “All the events that happen here, and all the amenities that we have in this community, are in Ryall Park. We want to ensure that people know that this is their community centre.”
Organizers are encouraging attendees to walk or take transit to the event if possible because parking will be limited.