Thorold celebrates Manitoba during 13 for 13 cultural festival, draws large crowds to watch performances

Families used the photo book as a reason to get all dressed up, posing with several virtual backgrounds including a polar bear.

Battle of Beaverdams Park in Thorold was packed as guests of all ages came together to celebrate and experience the art, entertainment, and culture of Manitoba as part of the Canada Summer Games 13 for 13 festivals.

The event on Aug. 9 featured performances by Manitoba artists, including country musician Jade Turner and bilingual soul and funk group Jérémie and the Delicious Hounds.

“It was wonderful to see all the visitors and our local community come together to be part of this truly significant event,” said Thorold Mayor Terry Ugulini.

Guests young and old were also entertained by Bumbling Bert’s Magic show, and juggling comedian Kyle Sipkens, who ended his performance by juggling knives while standing on blocks of nails.

Kids of all ages were thrilled to be able to get face paint, play with bubble wants, and be handed Canadian flags from a Mountie on stilts.

Notable attendees at the event included Olympian flag bearer for Canada during the opening of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, basketball player Miranda Ayim.

“This is actually my first festival, but I’ll be here for the next few days and be able to experience some of the different local communities and festivals, as well as their provinces,” said Ayim. “It’s been wonderful so far.”

Local visitors said they enjoyed the event and getting to learn fun facts about Manitoba from posters all around the festival, including that the character Winnie the Pooh is based on a bear from Winnipeg.

“It’s been super lively, the food is good, the crowd is amazing, and the performers have been really awesome,” said Sarah Mattacchione, a student in Thorold.

Mattacchione and her friends are hoping to attend more of the 13 for 13 festivals over the next two weeks, getting to know more about the Niagara region and the provinces and territories of Canada.

“What makes the Canada Summer Games so special, aside from being Canada’s largest multi-sport event, is the 13 for 13 Cultural Festival, and last evening really showcased that when we hosted Manitoba,” added Ugulini.

To learn more about the 13 for 13 Cultural Festivals and upcoming events, visit niagara2022games.ca/13for13.

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