Riverside Music Fest Rocks Oxford Arena

Jamie Heap
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Heavy rainfall forces first annual music event indoors

OXFORD-While Saturday was a good day for ducks outside, it was a better day for the first annual Down By The Riverside Oxford music festival inside the Oxford Arena.

“While it would have been nice if we could’ve held the festival down by the river,” stated volunteer Norma Smit, “we were lucky to have the arena as a back-up.”

While heavy rainfall may have taken the Riverside out of the first annual Down By The Riverside Oxford music festival, those who attended the event, which was re-located to the Oxford arena, enjoyed a day’s worth of music and entertainment.

“The Riverside Oxford music festival gives our local talent that have performed at smaller music jams the opportunity to perform in front of a larger audience,” stated Coun. Darlene Ellis, the chair of the Oxford downtown revitalization committee.

Two of those performers were Rockey Ripley, an Amherst children’s singer-song writer and producer, and Kendra Mattinson, a local singer who has performed at smaller scale music jams before. Mattinson performed such country hits as ‘Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under’ (Shania Twain) and ‘Our Song’ (Taylor Swift).

“There is such a wide variety of performers and genres here today,” stated Ellis.

In addition to Ripley and Mattinson, Deedra Green, Bethany & Breanna, Kaliei Patten, The Fellas, Erroll & Maureen, Andrew & Marge, Kathy VanSnick, Earl Mattinson, Mark Stevens, Arnie & Al, DC Smith & the Streamliners, Shakedown Combo, Lisette Sumbu and Tyron Lawrence also performed this past Saturday.

In addition to giving performers such as the aforementioned a chance to shine, the first annual Down By the River Oxford musical festival, which Ellis plans on making an annual event, was also designed to help promote and raise funds for such local, non-profit organizations as the Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 36 (Pluck-a-Duck booth), the Route Six Club (barbecue) and the Oxford & Area Trails Association that is looking to raise enough money (through such activities as the 50/50 Duck Race on August 31) to complete the Trans Canada Trail by 2017.

“Cumberland County has one of the biggest gaps in the Trans Canada Trail,” stated Gerry McLellan of the Oxford & Area Trails Association. “Our goal is to have the Trans Canada Trail completed by the year 2017, Canada’s 150th anniversary.”

“I want to thank Coun. Barry Patriquin, citizens Arnold MacDonald and Carol Thompson, gold sponsor Pharmasave, Home Hardware, the music society, Shawna Beaton for donating her time today to paint the faces of Oxford and area youth and Tantramar Community Radio for advertising this event,” added Ellis on Saturday.


Organizations: Oxford Arena, Trans Canada Trail, Oxford Area Trails Association Royal Canadian Legion Branch Tantramar Community Radio

Geographic location: OXFORD, Cumberland County, Canada

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