Family Day a fun, glowing success at Maple Ridge Centre

Embrun's Layla Danis, 7 (right) was aglow after Cami Potvin's face-painting handiwork in the "glow room," Feb. 20 at Maple Ridge Centre. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

MAPLE RIDGE — The family-run Maple Ridge Centre hosted another successful Family Day fair at the County Rd. 43 facility.

Seven thousand square feet of the place — up from last year’s 5,500 — bustled with young families drawn to activities set up inside for the Feb. 20 holiday.

The former Maple Ridge Senior Public School building serves not only as the living quarters of owners Rachel and Conrad Potvin and children, it’s also an events enterprise hosting a variety of public and private parties and festivals.

Clutching cotton candy, toddlers and parents roamed the main hallway of the former school as Rachel Potvin reflected on the success of the day. “It’s the way we keep the lights on,” she said. Attendance is “definitely up from last year,” she added, noting that visitors were drawn to the paid-admission Family Day event from as far away as Ottawa, Cornwall, Brockville and Gatineau.

They enjoyed attractions from firms partnering with Maple Ridge Centre for the occasion — Vanderlaand Barnyard Zoo of Winchester Springs and Tribeck Inflatables of Iroquois. “We have really, really good people that we work with,” said Potvin.

In addition to the canteen and cotton-candy stand, the Centre owners also ran a well-received “glow room” — lit with black lights — that debuted only last month.

The venue is next set to host the first annual Linking Hands Dundas County Expo in conjunction with March Madness Family Fun Day on Wednesday, March 15. Tribeck Inflatables air-bounce, the critters from Vanderlaand the Barnyard Zoo, and the Glow Room will all be back for the event also featuring motivational guest speaker Melanie Willard. Admission is free but children are required to participate in an activity band for $5.

Maple Ridge Centre also returns with ‘family fun days’ Good Friday and the Monday of Victoria Day weekend. The latter event drew thousands of people to the Centre’s sprawling side yard for displays of large trucks, antique tractors and a vendor fair.


Iroquois’ Heather and Eric Foster and children May, 1½, and Blake, 4 mos., Family Day at Maple Ridge Centre. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News


Brothers Loghan Garlough, 9 (left) and Skyler Rathwell, 11, had a look at Vanderlaand Barnyard Zoo’s pot-bellied pig, Feb. 20, at Maple Ridge Center. Incidentally, the Williamsburg boys — who attend Iroquois Public School — have been growing their hair out for the past year, according to their mother, Ashley Rathwell. They did it, she says, with the intention of donating their locks to the Pantene company’s campaign providing free hair wigs to women with cancer. “I didn’t think they’d stick with it, but they did,” she says. The boys are slated for their haircut in March. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News.


Vanderlaand Barnyard Zoo, at Maple Ridge Centre. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News


Family Day 2017 was a fun, glowing success at Maple Ridge Centre.


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