2014 Hawkesbury Street Festival

Hawkesbury River Fest

Hawkesbury should be the centre of attention in this region… it has the longest Main Street, it has the longest coast with the Ottawa River, it has the largest population, but for some reason festivals and large activities have never really taken off in the city of 10,000 people.

Or, maybe, I’m just an introvert who rarely steps outside unless it’s to take his kids for a walk, or get a bag of milk.

I like Hawkesbury. I’ve written before — probably several times — about how difficult the city has had it over the past thirty-five years, but when I look at what advantages it has, I just want to bang my head against the wall. For crying out loud, the city has islands it could be developing. Instead of going ahead and creating an open space along it’s shore front, they’ve turned over huge chunks of coastline to developers who build cheap (at least looking) homes, then surround the property with walls.

The town also has a huge population of French-speaking citizens, who could be training for work in the bilingual city of Ottawa, or Montreal, but no one is willing to place a college campus here… at least not a large one. Or the money to get people into it…

Anyway… arrrrgh.

ANYWAY. When you shoot an event like this, the trick is to make it look like there were people there. This was a very small event, that I’m hoping will catch on. Hawkesbury needs this kind of stuff. Throw in a few bands, some kind of hot summer day activities, more vendors… more clowns, more staff walking up and down Main Street, engaging people. Stuff. More stuff. Other stuff. And next year it’ll be a lot bigger.

Two things:

1. there were huge groups of bikers driving up and down Main Street, so I just walked into the street and grabbed some shots as they drove by.

2. during a water break in Burger King (free refills!), I found the Ottawa Bicycle Club also taking a break. So I asked which way they were going (west, back to Ottawa), and if they’d be willing to wave as they rode past me. They loved the idea.

…so, that’s how I got those two shots. A lot of these shots ended up in our local paper.

Facebook ImageVankleek Hill Photos copyright

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