Vendors prepare for the 60th edition of the Welland Rose Festival

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Nearly 20 vendors will be set up in Merritt Park starting Friday for this year’s Rose Festival in Welland.

About 10 craft vendors will be on hand for Days in the Park, which opens Friday at noon and Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m., Rose Festival President Jeff Ward said Tuesday.

Three food vendors – Rose City Pizza, Mr. Lemonade and Cool Lick’s will keep everyone refreshed and fed throughout the weekend.

There is also a space where community groups can share what they are doing. Some of these include local artists, Niagara SPCA and Humane Society, as well as a local family who recently worked with a number of charities.

Jonathan and Sarah Hardt, along with their five children, ages one-and-a-half to 10, have partnered with Pokémon card collectors over the past year, receiving bulk card bundles that they sort and have sold in places like the dentist. offices and gas stations, as well as a local martial arts center.

Around Halloween 2021, they donated 5,000 cards to Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Niagara.

About 30 “squirrel picnic table” kits were also donated to the organization by the Welland family.

“It’s really great for the kids to have that fun, but it’s also great to share it,” Hardt said, adding that they recently sat down at a Welland Jackfish game to raise money for a cause. local chosen by the baseball team.

More recently, they’ve been working with Trainer’s Depot, an online company that has also donated a huge collection of cards, some minimal in value, but also others with individual price tags of around $10.

They will be selling single cards as well as bulk packages on Rose Festival Day in the Park all weekend.

They create business models, have a ledger to keep inventory to hone their business skills, but also do it to help those in need.

Proceeds raised over the weekend will benefit the local St. Vincent De Paul chapter.

“I try to show them really unique business models so they can own their future,” he said.

Ward said the festival aims to ensure that the list of vendors has no duplication.

“We don’t allow two of anything,” Ward said, adding that all craft vendors are local.

This is the 60th edition of the festival and for many years Days in the Park has been held at Chippawa Park, a large public space with far more room than Merritt Park.

Ward said that’s a good thing because Chippawa Park is across town and away from downtown.

But it also creates a more manageable environment because it’s not “as expansive” as Chippawa Park, where volunteers in the past had to do “a lot of walking.”

This makes all vendors “more accessible” being in a smaller space.

“Everyone is tight-knit and tight,” Ward said.

Friday night street dancing will liven up downtown starting at 6 p.m. with opening act The Other Syde, followed by Juno Jack winner Keyzer at 8 p.m.

Saturday music will begin at 11 a.m. with the children’s band Splash N’ Boots. The British Invasion Band will take to the floating stage at 6:00 p.m., followed by a tribute to Bob Seger at 8:00 p.m. and fireworks at 10:00 p.m.

The Grand Parade will move north on King Street from 1 p.m. Sunday to East Main Street. Howling Horns will perform after the parade at 3 p.m.

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