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Home > Family Fun > What’s Happening – Labour Day Weekend 2019

What’s Happening – Labour Day Weekend 2019

Labour Day Weekend 2019

If you haven’t been keeping up with our site, social, or mailing list the past few weeks, let me catch you up. Labour Day Weekend is going to be a Big Deal™️ in Brockville. We have major events happening everywhere you look! Last week we checked out the details for Big River Brockville. Let’s take a look at everything happening throughout the weekend so you can plan the last long weekend of the summer accordingly.

To find a specific event, click on the festival name:

Red Hot and Blue Rockabilly Festival Logo - Labour Day Weekend 2019

Red Hot and Blue Rockabilly Festival

The Red Hot and Blue Rockabilly Weekend has been running for 13 years now, and is one of the biggest rockabilly festivals in Canada! In case you haven’t heard of it, Rockabilly began as a type of popular music, originating in the southeastern US in the 1950s, combining elements of rock and roll and country music. Now though, refers to the subculture of people who enjoy 50’s style music, fashion and way of life.

Thursday, August 29th

The Red Hot and Blue festival kicks off with a Patio Party at the Brockberry Grill featuring the Shakedown Combo. This patio party goes from 5pm to 8pm. The night is still young, however! Continue the party at the Court House Lodge with the official kick off party, featuring the HellBent Rockers and the Ichi-Bons. Tickets will be available to pick up throughout the day at the Spitfire Cafe.

Friday, August 30th

Ticket for the weekend are available for pickup throughout the day, starting at 10am, at the Spitfire Cafe. The first event for Friday is the Vintage Market and Antique car meet-up! This will take place at the Brockville Railway Tunnel Plaza. At 2:30pm, the Shakedown Combo will be performing. At 4pm, Krystal Jyl and the Jacks will take over the stage. The party then moves back to the Brockberry Grill for another Patio Party, with the TrebleTones performing.

The party then moves to the Brockville Legion for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dance Party! This ticketed event will run from 8pm to 2am, and will have a great lineup of performers, including Sean Mencher, Shaun Young, Jittery Jack & Miss Amy, and Teddy Fury. DJ Black Dice and Pat White will keep the dance party going until the early hours!

Saturday, August 31st

Tickets are still available during the weekend at the Spitfire Cafe starting at 10am. Once again, the Vintage Market and Antique Car Meet-Up will be running through the day at the Brockville Tunnel Plaza. There are some great activities throughout the day!

  • 10am – DJ David Faris
  • 11:15am – Jive lessons
  • 12:15pm – Fashion Show #1
  • 12:30pm – Swelltune Records Showcase
  • 2:30pm – Fashion Show #2
  • 2:45pm – Swelltune Records Showcase
  • 5pm – DJ David Rocketship

That evening, you can relive both the 50’s and your teen years with Prom Night at the Brockville Legion! Dress your best and dance the night away with live performances such as the Chris Casello Combo at 9pm, Tammi Savoy along with the Chris Casello Combo at 10:30, and the Dreamboats perform at midnight. The party doesn’t stop until 2am!

Sunday, September 1st

It’s the final day of the Vintage Market and Antique Car Meet-Up so make sure you head down to the Brockville Tunnel Plaza! There will be lots of live music throughout the afternoon.

  • 12pm – Sloe Gin Fizz
  • 1pm – DJ Tony B Good
  • 1:30pm – Cadillac Rumble
  • 2:30pm – DJ Tony B Good
  • 3pm – The Black Moon Boys

Enjoy the end of the summer with a 50’s style Surf ‘n’ Cruise along the St.Lawrence River! Please make sure you’re at the boat by 4:30 for a 5pm departure. After the cruise, there will be a BBQ Dinner and Wrap Party at the Court House Lodge with the Shook Boys. Scott Harvey will be hosting, and DJ David Faris will perform throughout the evening.

Monday, September 2nd

If you’re just not ready for the weekend to be over, head over to Moose McGuires for the Bye Bye Brunch. From 11am to 1pm, you can celebrate the Labour Day weekend with all your new Rockabilly friends.


Tall Ships Challenge – Brockville

The Tall Ships Challenge is an exciting series of festivals throughout the Great Lakes that takes place every three years. Brockville has been taking part since 2013, and can’t wait to play host again this year. There are a lot of events happening throughout the weekend, so let’s take a look at what is available to do!

Please note: Many of these events are ticketed, and the tickets have been on sale for months. If you do not have a ticket currently, please check with the front gate at Blockhouse Island before going to the event location.

Friday, August 30th

Brockville’s going to be a busy place starting Friday! If you can, avoid parking downtown and use either the free shuttle service, or take advantage of the Brockville Tunnel’s parking fundraiser – $10 a day to park at the north end of the tunnel and access the downtown core through the tunnel!

Starting at 2pm, the grounds will open for the events. There will be a classic and antique boat show taking place in the inner harbour at Blockhouse Island, along with food vendors and a vendors village. At Hardy Park there will be activities for the kids. The Brockville Infantry Company of 1862 will have an encampment set up in Centeen Park, and there will be lots to do while waiting for the official start of the festival.

Parade of Sail – 4pm

The Parade of Sail is what kicks off everything tall ships during the Labour Day weekend. Starting at about 4pm, the Parade of Sail will make its way along the waterfront, with all the ships on full display. From the Eastern end of Blockhouse Island to Centeen Park, you will get a great view of all the ships in all their glory. To get the best views, make sure you have your general admission wristband or festival passport on hand to gain access to the grounds.

Captain’s Reception – 7pm

After the Parade of Sail, the Captain’s Reception is a ticketed event that will welcome the captains of all the Tall Ships to Brockville. Guests with a ticket will be able to tour the Bluenose II and the Pride of Baltimore II at Centeen Park without all the lines that will be present during the day. There will be live entertainment, drinks, and finger foods available. It’s a great opportunity to see these two gorgeous ships without the lineups! The event starts at 7pm.

The Empire Sandy Dinner Cruise – 6:30pm boarding

If a dinner cruise sounds more up your alley, the Empire Sandy will be hosting one! With boarding starting at 6:30pm and running until abut 10pm, this ticketed event is going to be a great one. There will be a full dinner with appetizers and dessert available as you enjoy the sunset over the 1000 Islands. Please note: all Empire Sandy events will be leaving from Blockhouse Island, NOT Hardy Park as originally listed.

Saturday, August 31st

Grounds open today at 9am, but if you’re early to downtown Brockville, you can have a look around the Brockville Farmer’s Market! Saturday is going to be a busy day, so if you’re looking for something specific at the market, go early and buy quickly!

Throughout the day, once again there will be the Classic and Antique Boat Show in the harbour, food vendors along Water Street, vendors in the Vendors Village, kids entertainment in both Hardy Park and Blockhouse, and the Brockville Infantry Company Encampment at Centeen Park. Make sure you check out the Leeds County Draft Horse Club Display as well throughout the day!

Tall Ship Deck Tours – All Day

These tours require a Festival Passport, which can be bought at the front gate of each park. This passport will allow you access to board all the shops at the Tall Ships Festival.

Please Note: The Empire Sandy will be offering speciality sail outs during the festival, and so will not be available for deck tours. If you wish to board the Empire Sandy, please consider purchasing a ticket for the sail outs or the dinner cruises.

Empire Sandy: Sail outs and Dinner Cruise

The Empire Sandy will be hosting sail outs throughout the day, and all of them are ticketed. Any leftover tickets will be sold at the main gate of Blockhouse Island. Please note: all Empire Sandy events will be leaving from Blockhouse Island, NOT Hardy Park as originally listed.

  • Morning Sail: 9:30am – 11:15am
  • Early Afternoon Sail: 11:45am – 1:30pm
  • Mid Afternoon Sail: 2:00pm – 3:45pm
  • Dinner Cruise: 7pm – 10pm (Please be ready for boarding at 6:30pm)

Youth Sail Training Zone – 11am

Are you interested in learning how to live like a sailor? You can make a sailor’s headband while learning navigation and how to chart a course on a ship! The Aquatarium and Bytown Brigantine will be on hand to help you learn all about life on the water.

Fair Jeanne, St.Lawrence II & Black Jack Sailing Adventures – 6pm

The Fair Jeanne, the St.Lawrence II and the Black Jack will be hosting a sailing adventure that is ticketed. You can become part of the crew of Brockville’s tall ships, and have a hands on experience to take the helm, set the sails, learn about reading charts and experience how to sail a Tall Ship. Trainees must be 12+ and must be able to move around the ship without mobility aids. Please wear closed toe, flat, rubber soled shoes.

Empire Sandy Dinner Cruise – 6:30 Boarding

If you’re interested in spending your dinner time on the Empire Sandy, there will be another dinner cruise on the Saturday. With boarding at 6:30pm, please make sure you’re there on time so the boat can leave at 7pm! Please note: all Empire Sandy events will be leaving from Blockhouse Island, NOT Hardy Park as originally listed.

Captain’s Reception – 7pm

There will be another ticketed Captain’s Reception at Centeen Park at 7pm. You will be able to access the Bluenose II and the Pride of Baltimore II without the long lines, and will get to enjoy live entertainment, light appetizers, and drinks will be available.

Sunday, September 1st

September already! We’re going to finish off the Labour Day Weekend starting at 9am with the gates opening. If you missed the Brockville Farmer’s Market on the Saturday, you’re in luck because the market will make a rare Sunday appearance! It’s also the last day of the Classic and Antique Boat Show, the Brockville Infantry Company Encampment, all the kids entertainment, and the vendors village. Also, cehck out the Leeds County Draft Hourse Club Display at Hardy Park!

Tall Ship Deck Tours

Sunday is your last chance to get to explore the Tall Ships! Make sure you have your festival passport and arrive early to check out the ships!

Please Note: The Empire Sandy will be offering speciality sail outs during the festival, and so will not be available for deck tours. If you wish to board the Empire Sandy, please consider purchasing a ticket for the sail outs or the dinner cruises.

Empire Sandy Sail Outs

The Empire Sandy will once again be taking people out for trips on the St.Lawrence. These tickets can be bought at the front gate of Blockhouse Island, so please make sure you check availability!

  • Morning Sail: 9:30am – 11:15am
  • Early Afternoon Sail: 11:45am – 1:30pm
  • Mid-Afternoon Sail: 2pm – 3:45pm

Please note: all Empire Sandy events will be leaving from Blockhouse Island, NOT Hardy Park as originally listed.

Fair Jeanne, St.Lawrence II & Black Jack Sailing Adventures – 6pm

Once again, the Fair Jeanne, the Black Jack and the St.Lawrence II will be teaching people how to become the crew of a ship! During this hands-on experience, you can learn to set the sails, take the helm, read charts and sail a ship! Remember, this is a ticketed event, so check availability with the ticket counter at Blockhouse Island! Trainees must be 12+, be able to move around the ship without a mobility aid, and be wearing closed toe, flat, rubber soled shoes!

Empire Sandy Dinner Cruise – 6:30 boarding

To close the festival and the Labour Day Weekend, the Empire Sandy will be taking one last group of diners out on the water for a sunset cruise with a full dinner. Make sure you’re on the boat at 6:30pm so the boat can leave at 7pm! Please note: all Empire Sandy events will be leaving from Blockhouse Island, NOT Hardy Park as originally listed.

Bonus – Aquatarium Discount!

If you show your Festival Passport at the Aquatarium between August 30th to September 1st, you’ll receive a special festival rate of $12.99 – a savings of 35%!


Shootout Fishing League

August 31st – September 1st

Shootout Fishing League is a professional Bass tournament running from Saturday August 31st to Sunday September 1st. The boats will be taking off from Hardy Park at around 7am, and it is a sight to see! If you are an early bird, definitely make your way down to the park to see the professional fishing boats take off! Weigh in will be around 3:30pm in Hardy Park.


SNOlympiad: Summer Snowball Throwing Competition

The SNOlympiad is looking for Canada’s top male and female snowball throwers to send to the World Championships in Ottawa next year! The first Canadian Snowball Throwing Championship will be held in Brockville this year, and will be the qualifier for entry to the world championships.

Competitors will be judged on:

  • Distance
    • Each participant throws three self made snowballs for distance. The longest distance recorded in feet of the three qualified throws is scored. 1 foot = 1 point
  • Accuracy
    • Each participant throws three self made snowballs. Each throw is measured on the accuracy of hitting the bullseye target. You can earn up to 25 points per hit.
  • Velocity
    • Each participant throws three self made snowballs and the velocity of each throw is registered on the radar gun in Miles Per Hour (mph). The highest velocity of the three throws is recorded for scoring.

September 1st

The first annual snowball throwing competition will be held at Fulford Park (91 1st Avenue) . It will start at 9:45am with the opening ceremonies and an opening throw by dignitaries. At 10am the preliminary competition will start for the men and women divisions. At 1pm the finals will take place, and the winners will be announced.

Interactive Spectator throws For Charity – 2pm

If you want to give the snowball throwing a try, come by at 2pm to try your hand at the speed and accuracy throws. For $5, you can have three throws. Net proceeds will be donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Leeds and Grenville, and funding will be matched by EXIT Realty Eastern Ontario.


With such a busy weekend, you’ll be relieved to see the Labour Day Monday is relatively quiet! On Monday, September 2nd, take the time to relax and get ready to go back to school, back to work, or just close summer out with a relaxing day, perhaps taking in the waterfront once again!

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