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St. Anthony’s come home year promises surprises

St. Anthony Come Home Year committee member Marilyn Walker says there will be plenty of surprises for 2019’s Come Home Year, with expectations to more than double the town’s population. The event is planned for July 20-26, 2019.
St. Anthony Come Home Year committee member Marilyn Walker says there will be plenty of surprises for 2019’s Come Home Year, with expectations to more than double the town’s population. The event is planned for July 20-26, 2019. - Kyle Greenham

Planning is well underway for 2019 event

ST. ANTHONY, NL – St. Anthony’s come home year for the summer of 2019 is shaping up with new events and expectations for over 3,000 visitors.

Marilyn Walker was on the committees for St. Anthony’s previous come home years in 2012 and 2015, and she is taking a leading role this year.

Walker spends much of her days sitting at her kitchen table with plentiful papers for scheduling and manoeuvring for the come home year. While there’s a lot of dedicated hours volunteered for the event, she says it’s nothing she’s not prepared to handle.

The committee is currently finalizing the schedule and preparing the registration for the week of events, set for July 20-26 of next year. The Facebook group devoted to the Come Home Year has already garnered more than 3,190 members.

“We looked at what worked in 2012 and 2015, as well as asking people through our Facebook group what they wanted,” said Walker. “We’ve incorporated a lot of that and a lot of things that will be a surprise.”

Returning events like a sports day, Fishing Point day, dances, contests, craft fair, bonfire and a candlelight remembrance service are some of the items currently being scheduled.

Some of the brand-new items planned for the event Walker preferred to keep secret for now, although some different and eccentric activities for Sports Day were hinted at.

“We want to keep plenty of surprises,” she said.

From her experience helping develop the previous come home years, Walker said the committee is working toward ensuring there are events for all age groups.

“We’re focusing a lot on teens this time, they seem to be the ones that feel a little more left behind,” said Walker. “This time we’ve got three or four huge things in mind for teens, lots of things for kids and we’re putting something together for seniors as well.”

Walker said there are also plans to encourage St. Anthony residents to decorate their homes to coincide with a contest and a potential motorcade through town.

Through discussions on the Facebook group, some family reunions and even two weddings may coincide with the week as well.

“We created the group page so that everyone could have their say in the process,” Walker said. “With all the families coming home it’s a great time to schedule these kinds of things.”

The committee hopes to host three fundraisers before next year. As registration and the final schedule comes closer to being released, Walker said she is thankful for all the support and advice the committee has received so far.

“There’s a lot of support from away and people looking to volunteer when they get home,” she said. “This time around we’re anticipating to more than double the town again.”

kyle.greenham@northernpen.ca

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