Shelburne couple Greg and Heather Hayes building a dream

May 18, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Marni Walsh

Shelburne’s Greg and Heather Holmes have seen a dream turn into reality for “Pickin’ in the Park,” the annual musical event they founded in the town in 2013. With the support of local service clubs and the Town of Shelburne, the organizers have been saving funds from the event to build a permanent shelter for the musicians, entertainers and crowds who gather from far and wide for a summer weekend of camping, sharing good company, and performing country music. Last week the pole pavilion started to go up and the excitement for Pickin’ in the Park 2017 is literally “building.”

The event brings country music lovers from across North America to Fiddle Park on County Road 11, just south of No Frills each July. The owners of Holmes Appliances and Music Store on Main Street Shelburne, say Pickin’ in the Park has evolved “with a lot of encouragement and support from friends, the Town of Shelburne and the Shelburne Lions Club,” but, “the park was missing one thing – a shelter for activities and picnics; a gathering place for whatever would happen in the park.” Heather says, “Suggestions included a band shell, a small garage, and even a community centre.”  It was decided a pole-type pavilion “built with future ideas” in mind was to be their fund raising focus.

Pickin’ in the Park raised $5000 in its inaugural year, and with each year the funds doubled and accumulated. “The people who arrived at Pickin’ in the Park that first year were very supportive,” say the Holmes’, “and we relied on volunteers and donations, so that the costs for the event were kept to a bare minimum. The festival has continued to grow each year, but the style of the event is still the same, costs are still kept to a minimum, and we still have volunteers helping out.”

“To actually see the pavilion “going up” is wonderful,” says the couple. “We have certainly had some hick-ups, but that’s to be expected.  As the pavilion is being built on Town property, Town regulations need to be followed, and the Holmes’ say, “Structure and engineering designs, permits and codes, make what seems like an easy and cost effective structure not so reasonable.”

The total cost of the pavilion is greater than the current funds held by “Pickin in the Park”, but organizers are working with the Town of Shelburne, and are committed to raising the balance owing over the upcoming years.   The pavilion will be a valuable asset for the residents of Shelburne and area, making an ideal venue for musical entertainment and events of all types, providing shelter from wind, rain, the heat of the summer, and the chilly days of winter.

“We are always looking for donations and sponsorship from corporate or community organizations,” say Greg and Heather. “This will help to shorten the outstanding funds owed to the Town of Shelburne.”

Pickin’ in the Park 2017 will run from July 27th – 30th at Fiddle Park in Shelburne. Everyone is invited to “bring their musical instruments for a weekend of music and fellowship.” Come out and help to “raise the roof” with great music, great food, and friends from across the country. Admission is $10 per person daily on Thursday, Friday, Saturday; $25 per person for a weekend pass without camping; and $80.00 per trailer which includes 2 weekend passes. Volunteers are also needed for the event, if you can assist please call Heather and Greg at 519-925-3037. For more details on the music and events line-up visit:

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