This week is sure to be one of celebration and as well, a new beginning as it pertains to this community.  On Wednesday, our community will celebrate Armed Forces Day with thousands of children participating in the annual day, recognizing our troops who serve this country.  With the Snowbirds, Skyhawks and CF-18 Demo team preforming tomorrow and the static displays at the waterfront it is a great way to say thanks to the military for all they do in keeping our country safe.  For details click here for their website.

On Thursday from 4:30-7:00 p.m., Steve Bitonti and crew are inviting the members of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce to a pre-Bay Days Meet and Greet, at the Boat.  What a great way to keep the community celebration from Armed Forces Day, into the Bay Days celebrations going. We hope to see many of our members at the waterfront Thursday evening and hopefully Mother Nature will co-operate with us this week and provide some good weather for the events.

Commencing on Friday, we will start what hopefully will become an annual event, and Bay Days will kick off the weekend long community festival.  This festival is the start of something new, something different and as well, something for everyone.  This “grass roots” festival came about after the announcement that “Summer in the Park”, usually held on the August long weekend, was cancelled.  Nature abhors a vacuum and the seed was planted to create something new and the main theme that resonated with the organizing committee, was to ensure that it returned to a community celebration.

The organizing committee comprised of Tourism North Bay, Creative Industries, Downtown North Bay, Capitol Centre and the Chamber are set to launch this Friday.  We are certainly hopeful that the return to a community-based festival will spark our communities’ interest in a back to the basics style event.  The downtown core and the waterfront will be the stage and events will be happening throughout the weekend.  Local entertainment will be playing at the waterfront and the entire weekend’s entertainment, will be free to all.  The Capitol Centre will be home to the 4th annual Children’s Festival and although this is a ticketed event, it is a terrific event for children of all ages and make sure you check out the line up on their website capitolcentre.org.

Looking forward to seeing our entire community come out and show that there is support, for this type of event and programming.  If anyone has an in with Mother Nature, please slip in a good word regarding this weekends weather.  Rain or shine, we hope that everyone can get out and participate in both Armed Forces Day (Wednesday) and Bay Days (Friday-Sunday).  Both events are all about our community and look forward to seeing that support.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.