Miss Winter promises it to be “the best Dragonfest ever,” and with the likes of the Standardbreds, Junction 105 and Fiftymen set to headline the dance parties, reaching that entertainment high shouldn’t prove difficult.
Miss Winter (a.k.a. Elizabeth Logue), who has been organizing Dragonfest for several years, warns the public to be wary of fiery creatures lurking about Wakefield streets at the end of the month.
“Snow dragons will take over the village,” she wrote in an email to the Low Down.
The festival, now in its 13th year, began as a village birthday party for Phil Cohen. It has grown into its welcome function as a staple to counter the winter blues in Wakefield. Dragonfest returns Jan. 25-26 this year with two days of events that usually draw hundreds of kids and adults alike.
There’s the massive snow dragon that will be created by artist John Barkley, the winter vs. summer tug-of-war, and the hilarity-filled on-ice waitering event that has area barkeeps and servers racing around the rink relay-style to dispense endless laughter.
Rumours are swirling about the village that Kaffe 1870 has hired a full-time coach and has been training since unlacing their skates after last year’s event. They’ll be the ones to beat this year.
The festival kicks off Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. with a free skate, music and bonfire. But things heat up even more inside the Wakefield Community Centre when DJs T-Claude and LucWarm spin “Electro Magnetic” tunes. The two will be spinning techno, dance and disco throughout the night to keep the dragon feet moving.
The full fest gets underway the next day at noon with a Dragon Roaring Contest and kids games – tobogganing, ice candles, crafts and skating – before the waitering competition takes centre ice at 3 p.m.
But the party doesn’t really get started until 8:30 p.m. when the rock band lineup hits the stage in the Great Hall. The three Wakefield favourites are ready to push the community centre’s new sound and lighting system to the limits.
“We are very excited to play in the Great Hall and to be the first rock show there is kind of a privilege,” said John McAlpine, singer and guitarist with Junction 105.
”We want to test the room and maybe rattle the windows a bit. All the bands have done shows together and that’s part of the fun. The sound and light should be the best we’ve ever had.”
With all these players in the same room, is it possible we’ll get to see a Chislers reunion, McAlpine was asked. He didn’t say.
Local favourites Fiftymen will close out the festival with proceeds going towards a new outdoor stage for the community centre. Tickets for the show are $15.
2013 Dragonfest Events
Friday, Jan. 25
7 p.m. – Free skate with music and bonfire
8 p.m. – Wake the Dragon/ firespinners
8:15 p.m. – Family dance party at the Great Hall
9 p.m. – Electro Magnetic dance party with DJs T-Claude and LucWarm
Saturday, Jan. 26
Noon – Dragon Roaring Contest
12:30 p.m. – Kids games
2 p.m. – Dragon stories in the library
2:30 p.m. – Broomball
3 p.m. – On-ice waitering competition
3:30 p.m. – Tug-o-war
8:30 p.m. – Junction 105, the Standardbreds and Fiftymen in the Great Hall