by Jeff Mills

Are you doing that thing in the park again this summer?

I get this or something like it all the time and I know exactly what their cryptic question refers to.  It’s called 5 Wednesdays in July (no matter how many actual Wednesdays there are in July! Trust me some years there are actually 5!)

And it happens in Almonte’s Augusta Street Park. They are laid back evenings that start at 6. There’s wonderful local music and there’s food (1st and 3rd Wednesdays the Civitan Club cook on their barbeques and the 2nd and 4th people bring awesome food to our community pot luck table).

Kids run all about (the retro rocket ship is a favourite, there’s lots of sidewalk chalk, and on some hots days even a sprinkler), seniors with sun hats relax under the shade of the trees, local musicians tune up with others and offer an eclectic variety of musical offerings, and the green thumbs of the Neighbourhood Tomato offer garden tours that get to the root of the matter while offering garlic snape dip that is truly the food of the gods.

This year Linda Nilson conjured up a line-up that promises not to disappoint.  In order:  July 4th – Brad Scott and a “Pre-Celtfest Ceilidh;” July 11th – Stephen and Dianne Lynch and Redneck Limousine; July 18th – Lost: Pet Pigeon and Steve Stacey and the Stumpsplitters; and July 25 – Terry Tufts (channelling a little Gordon Lightfoot I hear) and Walking with Crows.

New this year, we will be “passing the hat” for our volunteer performers so don’t forget to bring some extra money for our musicians. (If there’s no music, there’s no show!)

We are grateful to Rod Ayotte who has offered to haul the stage to Augusta from the Cavanagh Construction lot in Ashton and back each week.  (It’s hard to have a concert without a stage!)

The good folks at One World Choir in Ottawa plan to attend 5 Wednesday concerts this year. They will bring great food, some crafts and art work, and maybe even perform some music!  From their One World Choir website –

 “Our choir is for immigrants and refugees of all backgrounds. No experience necessary.  One World Choir is a choir whose focus is community, friendship, and connection.  Mostly, our choir is about sharing vocal and choral traditions among choir members.  Sometimes, we also sing in public and community places.  This year, the choir has been visiting rural communities in eastern Ontario.  We have done a few low key performances, for fun and learning about places and people outside of Ottawa.  All with great success!  Rural communities have been so welcoming!”

At 5 Wednesdays in July smiles are the order of the day, nary a bad word spoken, and to be truthful this little summer festival that could happens because people like you come together to make sure it does.  Friends of Augusta Street Park are grateful for the help with this event given by Mills Community Support.

Wanna help this year? Here’s how!

*Join our set up crew each Wednesday in July at 3pm in the park.

*Be a host for someone from the One World Choir.

You can help us live into our water tower motto “Friendly Almonte in Mississippi Mills?”