A ‘rubber-boot-stompin’ good time in South Mountain for Canada Day

Les Smith, frontman for Garth Brooks tribute band Fresh Horses, leads young Carter, 4, of Morrisburg, in a rendition of 'Happy Birthday' to Canada. Captured by Susan courtesy photo by Susan Helmer Sloane

Kelsey Smith
Nation Valley News

SOUTH MOUNTAIN — It was cloudy skies and rain storms for most of Canada Day but that didn’t stop the folks of North Dundas from celebrating in South Mountain.

“It would take a bit more hail and snow to stop North Dundas to reschedule their Canada Day celebrations,” chuckled Mayor of North Dundas Eric Duncan.

Despite the excessively soggy morning the afternoon turned out to be sunny and hot — enough so that many children decided to take the plunge into the knee high deep ditches of the fairgrounds.

Several were seen swimming, splashing and running through water puddles. They were ‘happier than pigs’ sopping with mud and water from head-to-toe.

There was plenty of entertainment for all ages.

Children enjoyed bouncing on bouncy castles, viewing the Vanderlaand Barnyard Zoo, and watching the Shake-a-Paw Dog Agility Demo.

All ages were captivated by the various talented artists: local songstress Marleen Fawcett, 14-year-old Michaela Cote, Fresh Horses — a tribute to Garth Brooks, and of course, Ambush.

Fawcett opened her set with crowd favourites.

And the audience was blown away by the powerful voice of the young Michaela Cote — who is headed to Nashville to sing on the biggest stage of country music, the Grand Ol Opry, next month.

Fresh Horses got the audience’s participation with king-of-country-music Garth Brooks songs. Les Smith — lead singer of Fresh Horses — was fascinated by a young fan in the front row who sang and danced along to all of his songs. He nearly shed a tear after he invited four-year old Carter of Morrisburg to come up on stage to sing ‘Happy Birthday Canada’ with him.

Above, four-year-old Carter of Morrisburg almost brought a tear to the eye of country superstar facsimile Les Smith with a candid expression of patriotism while wearing a red cowboy hat and knee-high red cowboy boots.

The Fresh Horses frontman also got spectators to “stomp their rubber boots” in a “good ol’ fashion line dance” as he called it.

Ambush rounded out the night with a set before and after the fireworks.

Many were overly impressed with the fireworks display. One man observed, “They were way better than normal years in Ottawa. In fact even better because I didn’t have to wait for hours in line.”

Eric Duncan wanted to give the volunteers a “pat on the back for making this happen,” stressing that the day would not have been possible or nearly as successful without them.

North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan addresses the audience under the big tent at the South Mountain Fairgrounds, July 1. Smith photo, Nation Valley News


Captured by Susan courtesy photo, Susan Helmer Sloane


The precipitation earlier on Canada Day created its own fun at the South Mountain Fairgrounds. Smith photo, Nation Valley News

Rob Foster, one of three licensed supervisors with South Mountain’s annual fireworks show, provided this image of some “mortar shells” — 2-, 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-inch units —  destined to explode colourfully in the South Mountain sky, Canada Day evening. He also expressed thanks to J.D. Van Noy of Lannin Lumber for donating materials used in the creation of a new launching rack. Foster, Trevor Mortimer and Dan Walker have been responsible for the local show for the last 16-17 years and are now training their replacements on the North Dundas Fire Department.


Mortar tubes, before the South Mountain fireworks show, as photographed by Rob Foster.

The South Mountain fireworks show, still in the box before Canada Day. Courtesy photo by Rob Foster


And the fireworks, as they appeared ignited on Canada Day at South Mountain. Smith photo, Nation Valley News

A bit of footage from Canada Day celebrations in South Mountain, including fireworks, Shake-A-Paw dog agility demo, singer Michaela Cote and line-dancing to music played by Fresh Horses.


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