Bass Classic…fishing and fun for all!

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This is it: this week is the lead-up to the Atikokan Bass Classic and it promises to be an activity-packed week for the whole family. “We are gearing up for a fun week,” said the ABC’s Lisa Johnson.

As for Friday and Saturday’s competition, this marks the first time since the tourney doubled in size and moved to the Floods that the angler board is full, with 110 teams and another on the waiting list, said Johnson.

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Tuesday offers a number of kids’ activities: A scavenger hunt hosted by the ANFC begins under the big tent (in the swimming pool parking lot) at 10 am, with ‘fishing fun’ stories and crafts at the library, 1-2:30pm, tie dye t-shirt-making at the youth centre at 2pm, and movie night at the library (ages 12 and up) at 8 pm. (The movie is The Host; register at 597-4406). For the adults, there is Hawaiian mixed golf at Little Falls Golf Course at 5pm (shotgun start).

Wednesday, the kids’ fun continues with Teddy Bear Picnic at noon at the Main Street green space next to the CIBC. Children are invited to bring their favourite teddy bear and listen to the music and fun antics of children’s entertainer Andrew ‘Too Tall’ Queen.

A volleyball tournament will be running that day from 11am to 5pm at the Hemlock Sportsplex, and women’s golf (shotgun start) will start at Little Falls at 5 pm. The ANFC will host a Pow Wow—an opportunity to watch, and take part in, traditional Aboriginal feasting and dancing under the big tent from 5 to 8 pm.

Thursday is about the shopping: A farmers’ market at the Foodland parking lot runs from 10 am to 5 pm, and the artisans’ tent (next to the CIBC) will feature local and regional vendors selling a wide variety of handmade or locally produced items from 10 am to 6 pm.

For the kids, the library is hosting a kite-making workshop for ages 6 and up at 1 pm, and the youth centre is hosting a water balloon challenge at 3 pm.

Under the big tent, the ANFC is hosting its traditional shore lunch style fish fry, with fresh Walleye, bannock, beans and more; that starts at 4pm, and the cost is $12 for adults, $10 for kids and $8 for children age 8 and under.

Thursday evening officially launches the tourney, with the 6 pm Main Street parade of boats—an opportunity to check out the watercraft and scoop some candies as the teams drive by.  For the anglers, that follows with dinner and a rules meeting at the Legion at 7pm.

Friday the momentum really picks up with the tourney start and more activities downtown.  For competitors, the boat checks begin at 5:30 am at Anderson Dam Landing, with the first flight of boats departing at 7, with the each of the four flights departing every 15 minutes.

During the day, the big tent is the place to be, with Avenue A’s fishing-themed bake-off for children (cupcakes) and adults (pies) at 1 pm, ice cream sales (a youth centre fundraiser) food booths and beer gardens will be open and popcorn and a movie, Robin Hood, at the Library.

The excitement picks up with the start of the 2:30 pm weigh-in at the tent. That day also marks the arrival of a Midway, by Canuck Amusements of Selkirk, MB, who will be set up at the former Steep Rock Hotel property offering rides on the Zipper, Spider, Pirate, Tornado and others. Rides begin 3 pm and also run Saturday and Sunday at noon. It is the first time in many years the town has hosted a midway. The Town’s recreation department has coordinated the visit here. A $25 bracelet lets you ride all day, or pay per ride, with 15 % of all profits going towards the Atikokan Recreation and Wellness Complex project.
A 6 pm participants’ dinner awaits the anglers after their first day on the water, at the Legion.

The last day of the tourney again sees the weigh-in begin under the tent at 2:30 pm, and the suspense will build until the top 10 team (and other) prizes are handed out at 6.

(The weigh-ins will be broadcast live both days on Atikokan Municipal Radio on 91.1 FM CKAX).

Food booths and beer gardens will again be open, and the day wraps up under the big tent with a street dance featuring Bon Journey, a Canadian tribute band covering the songs of both Bon Jovi and Journey.

The dance runs from 9pm to 2 am. (Age of Majority is required and tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.)

A final note on the wrap up of this year’s events: The volunteer appreciation barbeque will be held Wednesday, August 21, 5-7 pm up at the Charleson Rec Area’s shelter.

For more up-to-the-minute info, check out the ABC Facebook group, or for last minute merchandise purchases, go to the ABC’s headquarters at AEDC board room, or call 597-2757.

The winning teams will be published in Monday’s Progress and on the ABC website,

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