What’s the best way to get to know your neighbour? Some good old-fashioned wrasslin’, of course!
Two very different kinds of wrestling will highlight the new additions to the 49th-annual Hi Neighbour Festival, set for May 31, June 1 and 2 on Regent Avenue.
Those interested in watching can check out Steeltown Pro Wrestling, which will begin at 11 a.m. on June 1.
Vice-chair Kim Delorme said the festival has been working to get wrestlers out in recent years, though this is the first time the crew will be there. She expects the show will be a treat for attendees.
"They perform in the bars and they’re very comical," she said.
"It’s a good gig to have an event like that. The kids can watch it and get a good laugh," added chair Ray Ulasy.
As well, the Manitoba Arm Wrestling Association will hold an arm wrestling tournament from 5 to 9 p.m. There will be separate contests for MAWA members and for non-members.
Another new feature will be the Hi Neighbour Festival Salutes Good Neighbours contest. Six prizes of $100 will be awarded to Peter Kwiatek, Emil Werestuik, Darcy Robert, Nick Paley, Phillip Marion, and Mike Martel for their various community contributions. The winners will be presented with their awards at the opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. on May 31, and will also appear on a float during the parade, which will start at Regent Avenue West from Brewster Street and travel to Wayoata Street, beginning at 11 a.m.
"People are really excited," said Delorme. "(Contest sponsor) Goodfellow and Goodfellow are so excited that they’re going to continue it every year. It’s going to be an ongoing thing."
Another new award will be presented in memory of Delorme’s mother, Jean, who was a major fundraiser for the event. In her name, a $500 bursary will be presented to a student at each of the five area high schools.
Organizers expect over 10,000 people to come to the three-day festival, which Ulasy said will set Transcona residents up for a major celebration in 2014 for the 50th anniversary.
"We have to get through this year first, but the 50th is going to be an important one," said Ulasy. "There will be events going on throughout the year. It’s going to be a different look next year."
Ulasy and Delorme credited fellow directors Darcy Robert, Faye McLeod-Jashyn, Heather Lamb, Grant Reid, Stan Lopata, Vince Lopata, Shari McKay, Brian Sellar, and Peter Martin, as well as all the volunteers for their hard work. They also noted in addition to Jean Delorme, they lost another hard worker in Peter McCarthy.
For complete information on the festival, visit www.transconahineighbour.com