Toronto’s ‘Festival of the Arts’ in its 41st year

TORONTO — Toronto’s 41st-annual “Festival of the Arts” will take place today and Sunday in the Gem City.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, with the official opening ceremonies at 11 a.m. at the main stage located on the corner of River Avenue and Main Street.

The Toronto High School Band will perform for the opening, and Little Miss Lion will be crowned, organizers said.

The Little Miss Lion pageant is sponsored by the Toronto Lions Club and is open to all girls ages 8-12 who attend Toronto City Schools. The winner is determined by the selection of the odd-colored rose. The winner will receive a tiara, and all finalists will receive a gift and represent the Toronto Lions Club through out the next year.

Additional entertainment for Saturday will include Chelsea Matta Householder at noon; county Commissioner Thomas Graham, 1:15 p.m.; Titans, Toronto Middle School and High School cheerleaders, 2:30; and Ron Retzer, 3:30.

The festival will begin at noon Sunday. A highlight that day will be the T-town Teeny-Tiny Turtle Race at 3:30 pm. at Newburg Landing.

Participants can “adopt” a plastic turtle for $5 and take a chance at winning prizes, organizers said. Prizes this year include $500 for first place; $100, second; and $50, third. Each $5 donation goes toward funding scholarships and other donations throughout the year, organizers said.

Anyone wishing to adopt a turtle can do so at the Chop Shop or Images Salon. Turtles can also be adopted at the festival.

Other entertainment for Saturday includes the Place for Dance, noon; Reflections, 12:30 p.m.; Lisa’s Dance Elite, 1:30; wing eating contest, 2; poetry contest, 2:30; and the Yankee Grey Band, 3.

This year’s festival will feature 100 vendors selling a variety of foods, crafts and other items.

Families can purchase a $10 all-day pass for inflatables and games provided by Movin & Groovin Productions.

Visitors interesting in adopting a turtle, purchasing a festival T-shirt or participating in the hourly drawings and the Chinese auction can visit the Focus in Toronto booth located near the gazebo.