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A frustrating end to a successful Summerfest as a theft occurs at Milt Dunnell Field

By Wendy Lamond

At a time when the Kinsmen Club of St. Marys should have been celebrating a successful 50th-anniversary Summerfest weekend, organizers of the annual event were left with a sour taste in their mouths after a significant amount of alcohol was stolen from one of their secured event trailers.

A secured trailer located behind the big refreshment tent was broken into at some point between 2 and 4 a.m. Monday. From that trailer, the Kinsmen say a significant amount of alcohol was taken but, as of press time, they were not ready to share the approximate value of that stolen alcohol. In addition to the alcohol theft, the thief or thieves made away with a $4,000 Honda generator owned by Magical Midways, the company that brought all the midway games to Summerfest.

“I’m now embarrassed for the fact that we had a fantastic midway operator come to our town and provide such a great time to all our residents just to have bad actors put us in a bad light,” event organizer and Kinsman Ryan Leaman told the Independent. “We’re absolutely gutted. We put so much of our time into the weekend, only grabbing a few hours of sleep, then heading right back at it.”

In an update provided late Monday night, the Kinsmen said police have a potential lead on the theft after learning a dark-coloured truck of an unknown make and model was seen driving erratically over the green bridge towards Queen Street at around 3 a.m. Monday. Anyone with security cameras in the area of Water Street and Queen Street is asked to check their footage and contact Stratford police at 519-271-4141 if their cameras caught anything suspicious.

Leaman said he was disgusted by the thefts, especially after the hours that are put into the Summerfest weekend by volunteers. Summerfest is the Kinsmen’s largest fundraiser with all the money raised going back to the community and local initiatives.

There were lots of rides, games, events, live music and refreshments at this year’s Summerfest and it takes many hardworking volunteers to pull off a successful event like this.

Many people attended Summerfest and the weather, for the most part, ended up being great. Magical Midways was on site with rides and games for all ages from July 4-7. The corn hole tournament and dunk tank went off without a hitch.


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