The beautiful southwestern Manitoba town of Deloraine is ready to rock this weekend with their summer festival billed as Delodaze.
After the deluge of rain throughout the Canada Day long weekend, this town with a population of just over a thousand people is surprisingly dry and ready to celebrate.
Deloraine’s Economic Development Officer Liza Park says she was "very surprised and quite relieved at how fast the water subsided. But we want to let folks know that we’re all systems go and everyone is welcome!"
In other words, whatever standing water that remains before this weekend will have been pumped out and they are all pumped up and ready to go with a full weekend of activities.
Parks says Delodaze promises "something for everyone." Along with two nights of live music entertainment, there will be multicultural street dances, children’s entertainment, food vendors, fireworks and more.
The weekend festivities will culminate with a live performance by one of Canada’s most enduring bands, Harlequin.
This hard-rocking Winnipeg group has been around since the mid 1970s and they continue to win new fans with every show they play.
Since the release of their first album, Victim of a Song in 1979, they’ve been rocking on strong. Much like any band that stands the test of time, Harlequin has gone through a few periods of inactivity and changes in the band lineup, but one constant remains — they still rock!
Harlequin is one of a handful of Winnipeg bands — Guess Who, BTO, Watchmen, Crash Test Dummies, Streetheart and Orphan come to mind — that still garner plenty of airplay on Canadian rock radio.
Thanks to their solid back catalogue of tunes, the band has remained a staple on rock radio not only here in Canada but in many other parts of the world, where their hits still receive remarkable amounts of airplay.
Fuelled by this continued success, Harlequin still tours extensively. They’re most at home playing arenas, festivals, theatres and other venues.
This summer will prove to be another busy one for the Manitoba Music Hall of Famers as they have more than a dozen gigs lined up and, as usual, will be blazing a trail across the Great White North.
Their busy schedule includes stops in Saskatoon, Red Deer and Lethbridge. They just played to a rain-soaked yet lively hilltop crowd at Dauphin’s Countryfest and have been added onto the Rockin’ the Fields mainstage lineup for August long weekend.
Lead singer and founding member of Harlequin, George Belanger, says he and the boys are ready to rock Deloraine this Saturday night with "plenty of old radio favourites like ‘Innocence’, ‘Thinking of You’, ‘Survive’, ‘I Did it For Love’ and ‘Superstitious Feeling’, mixed in with a couple of our newer tunes as well as a few of our favourite covers — and, as always, a few surprises."
If you’ve never seen Harlequin in concert or haven’t been to one of their shows in a while, you owe it to yourself to check them out.
They’re sounding as tight and solid as ever, and having recently welcomed original keyboardist Gary Golden back into the fold, along with long-time bassist-vocalist Paul McNair, they seem to have been infused with a breath of fresh air and renewed vigour for the stage.
By the way, if you take in the headliner performance on Friday, you’ll catch Paul fronting the incredible Journey tribute act, "Ultimate Escape." Harlequin guitarist Derrick Gottfried will also be doing double duty that night with McNair.
Delodaze entertainment schedule:
• Fairground gates open — 4 p.m.
• Misty Street — 8 p.m.
• Fireworks — 10 p.m.
• The Music of Journey — 10:45 p.m.
• Fairground gates open — 9 a.m.
• Bubble Man — noon
• Kids concert featuring Trinia Nestibo as Miss Daisy — 1 p.m.
• Brad Johner & Sons — 2 p.m.
• Left of Centre — 8 p.m.
• Harlequin — 10 p.m.
• After the main stage concert, Until Red will close out the evening as the musical entertainment in the beer garden.
*** All live entertainment is on the main stage in front
of the grandstand. Tickets available at the gate. ***
Frank McGwire is a radio personality and booster of the music scene in Brandon and Westman.