Kevin Anderson

SMOOTH ROCK FALLS – There are some big changes coming to the annual Smooth Truck Fest in Smooth Rock Falls this year, with everything being geared to make the weekend more of a family-friendly event.

“A lot of the feedback we’ve received going back several years is that the ‘festival atmosphere’ was kind of lacking. People wanted their families to be able to attend all events together,” said event spokesperson Trista Breton. “We’re aiming to change that this year by making the festival more affordable and providing more fun for the whole family.”

The biggest change for this year’s Truck Fest will be a focus on more regional entertainment.

Truck Fest had been known for bringing in a “big name” act every year, but has decided to follow in the steps of the Kapuskasing Lumberjack Heritage Festival this year, featuring regional acts in order to not only lower the cost of tickets, but to offer those attending the event more bang for their buck.

“The Stars and Thunder Festival in Timmins hurt us the last couple of years,” said Breton. “People only have a certain amount of money to spend on things like concerts and they had some really big headliners. At the same time, we feel by offering regional acts, we’re not only promoting the talent in our area, we believe it will give the festival a more intimate feel and really help create more of that ‘festival atmosphere’ people say they’re looking for.”

In addition to more local flavour, this year’s Truck Fest will also include more vendors, more children’s activities and a change to the annual “Show and Shine”, which will now be held at the same time as the evening entertainment.

“Another big change is that kids will be able to go everywhere their parents go,” said Breton. “We’re really working hard to make sure families can enjoy everything together.”

Thursday evening will feature the return of illusionist Aaron Paterson, whose show last year was one of the most well-attended activities of the weekend.

Friday’s entertainment will include a video dance, leading up to the evening’s headliner, DJ Goliath GG, who will be entertaining the crowd from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Saturday will see the transport and truck pull race events get underway at noon, along with children’s activities from noon – 5 p.m. Wrapping up the day will be performers Sabrina and the FAMJAM, The Mitch Jean Band and The Relic Kings hitting the stage at the Reg Lamy Cultural Centre.

The weekend wraps up Sunday, with the annual parade slated for 10 a.m. followed by more transport and truck pull races, children’s activities and the Hospital Foundation draw at 4 p.m.

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