Figuring out the eclipse in a box

eclipseBill Poss, left, was helping his son Blue, 8, figure out how to safely watch the partial eclipse of the sun on Monday afternoon, Aug. 21 at a viewing station set up by local amateur astronomers on John Street North by Balmoral Park in Aylmer. Ron Sawyer and Arthur Oslach had brought several pairs of special glasses with them along with a homemade “eclipse in a box” viewer. A telescope with a special filter was also set up in Balmoral Park for interested sky watchers.

Live music by the pond

EaglesmithSinger/acoustic guitarist Rico performed several original songs in addition to some rock covers during his set at the 23rd annual Fred Eaglesmith Charity Picnic at Springwater Conservation Area southwest of Aylmer on Saturday afternoon, Aug. 19. The weekend-long live music festival raised money for Operation Smile, an international medical charity that has provided hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for children and young adults in developing countries who are born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformities. A donation will also be made to Catfish Creek Conservation Authority which owns and operates Springwater Conservation Area.

Sweet Corn Fest attracts a crowd

CornFestJayden Simmonds, 17, was almost done enjoying a freshly steamed cob of corn during the 10th annual Sweet Corn Fest held in Aylmer’s Balmoral Park on Saturday, Aug. 19. Ms. Simmonds plays for the BAD (Belmont-Aylmer-Dorchester) Girls Midget BB hockey team which was holding the corn, hamburger and hot dog barbecue in Balmoral Park that lunchtime to raise money for their upcoming season. Other attractions during the day-long Corn Fest, sponsored each year by MainStreet Aylmer, included live music both in the park and downtown, free children’s jump and bounce activities, snow cones and candy floss, free miniature horse-drawn wagon rides and face painting with Ellie along with the Aylmer Family Splash Pad and the nearby Aylmer outdoor pool. Downtown merchants also held sidewalk sales.

3 Port Tour at the lighthouse

3PortGroups of cyclists stopped to visit the historic wooden lighthouse in Port Burwell during the seventh annual 3 Port Tour on Saturday morning, Aug. 19. This group consisted of, from left, Mirek Pawelec of London, Claude Siadaczka of Kitchener, Greg Kurowski of London and Derek Szymikowski of Kitchener. Like in the recent past, the 3 Port Tour attracted hundreds of cyclists of varying experience from throughout southern Ontario and the northern United States for routes of 50 kilometres, 100 km or 160 km all starting out that morning from East Elgin Community Complex in Aylmer. The shortest route visited Mount Salem, Copenhagen, Port Bruce and Sparta. The medium and longest distance routes added Springfield, Corinth, Richmond, Calton, Vienna and Port Burwell. The 160 km route took in Port Stanley and rural roads west of the lakeside village and Union on the way back to Aylmer. Proceeds from the 3 Port Tour will be split between East Elgin Secondary School’s Environmental Leadership Program, which provides volunteers for the event, and the Forest City Velodrome in London. Other donations might also be made depending on ridership.

Fireworks, not gunshots

A Rutherford Avenue resident reported to the Express she heard gunshots in the area of Davenport Public School and East Elgin Secondary School Wednesday night, Aug. 16, at 11 p.m.

Aylmer Police investigated and, while they didn’t catch anyone in the act, believed the cause had actually been fireworks being set off in the area of the north end of St. George Street.

Chief Andre Reymer said officers saw flashes in the sky that led them to concluded pyrotechnics were involved, but the fireworks ended just before they reached the general area they came from.

Horsepower on display at Duff’s

webduffsDuff’s Garage in Aylmer is holding its 10th annual Car Show and Open House tonight, Wednesday, Aug. 16. Attractions include a variety of vintage and muscle cars, a pig roast and live music from Uncertain Children and Nite Train. Proceeds from the event will be given to the Aylmer Shrine Club and the Salvation Army of St. Thomas.

All smiles at “SonCastle Faire”

websprvbsNathaniel Luscombe, left, as Cornelius the Jester and Dave Rachar as Stewart the Steward grinned their way through a scene of “SonCastle Faire,” the play that was also the theme for a Vacation Bible School at Springfield Baptist Church Monday, Aug. 7, through Friday, Aug. 11. The summer school involved 150 children from 4 through 14 years old, plus 45 volunteers.

Off to the (water) races at Aylmer Fair

webfairwaterraceRunners 3 through 8 years old competed in a “water race” during special competitions for children at Aylmer Fair on Friday afternoon, Aug. 11. The goal was to get to the finish as quickly as possible while spilling as little as possible. The fair continues through Sunday.

Last game of season for Belmont Under 16 girls

webbelu16girlsKeeper Macie Finch of host Belmont Soccer’s The Hub Under 16 girls team kicked the ball down the field during a West London Soccer game against Strathroy on Thursday night, Aug. 10. League-leading Strathroy won the game, the last of the regular season, 3-0. Belmont finished in fourth in its division with a record of eight wins and four losses.

Early fun at the Aylmer Fair

FairrideMadison Saxton, left, and Sarah Glazer, both 13 and of Aylmer, enjoyed their multiple rides on the Tilt on Thursday night, Aug. 10, one of the highlights of the midway of this year’s Aylmer Fair. The 171st Aylmer Fair stared that evening and continued Friday afternoon and evening, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.