Growing up along the North Shore there are so many wonderful things that make me feel at home. Whether it’s the smell of a campfire in the distance, the sound of rain on a cottage tin roof, or being immersed in community spirit for one of the biggest events of the year. There is nothing better than being a part of a community that feels like family and celebrating with them. This type of celebration involves a lot of fishing, slo-pitch, food, and live entertainment. This is the longest-running event along the north shore…57 years. Nipigon’s very own Fall Fishing Festival.
It’s not only the longest-running event but it is one MIGHTY festival filled with the biggest slo-pitch tournament in the region, a GIANT penny auction, races for all ages, and a wide variety of food vendors. This Festival has something for the entire family and of course, it’s FISHING. For years now this weekend in Nipigon has been something everyone looks forward to as there is not only a lot going on but it’s also a “homecoming”, as people are usually reunited with long-time friends and family.
Proceeds from the Festival are distributed to local organizations including Nipigon Legion, Elks Lodge 337, Nipigon Curling Club and this year, the list of beneFISHieries includes the Northshore Golf Club. Through these funds, minor hockey, youth curling, cadets, and high school bursaries are all supported.
Every year people look forward to socializing, great music and just shaking it out at the Fall Fishing Festival Dance. This year’s dance, the first in two years, takes place on Friday at the Nipigon Legion from 8 pm to 1 am and admission is $5 at the door, with DJ music by Luke Zechner. The Legion will be opening its bar with beer and spirits available to purchase throughout the night. This is going to kick off the weekend where everyone can reunite and let loose in preparation for a jam-packed weekend. Age of majority is required.
To keep yourself going throughout a busy weekend come down to the Legion for a hilarious night with stand-ups Cristophe Davidson and Dylan Gott. This is happening on the Saturday, with the doors opening at 8:30 pm. Admission is free, but donations to the Festival will be accepted at the door. Age of majority is required.
The Fall Fishing Festival Parade takes place on Saturday, September 3rd, at noon. The Parade begins on Front Street and continues across the railroad tracks onto Railway Street and ends at the Nipigon Community Centre. People are encouraged to enter floats with unique and original ideas, a place to showcase your creativity! Each year a theme is announced for those building a float and this year’s theme is “Nipigon Throughout the Years” which makes it even better! Make sure to channel your creative spirit and show some pride in anything Nipigon! For more information on the Fall Fishing Festival Parade or to enter your very own float please contact Kristin Dutil at 807-887-3586.
You can’t make your way down to the heart of the festival, Nipigon’s Community Centre, without visiting the Giant Penny Auction. There you will find tons of great prizes from our sponsors and local businesses in the area. The Penny Auction begins on Saturday, September 3rd and winners are announced on Monday, September 5th in the Community Centre at approximately 5 pm.
This slo-pitch tournament is the largest along the North Shore. This year, twenty teams are vying to be crowed Fall Fishing Festival champion. The tournament starts on Friday and continues until the final on Monday, always a nail-biter! This is a highly anticipated event every year as teams show their love for slo-pitch – and everyone loves to participate in a little friendly competition.
Every year you can look forward to great eating! Once you have entered the Community Centre (only $5 for the weekend, free for kids 12 and under) you will have all access to everything food! You will not walk away with an empty stomach. You can look forward to some classics like fish and chips (of course!) snow cones, ice cream, and homemade pies. New this year is Petra Catering, Mini Donut Shoppe, and the Bubble Tree!
During this jam-packed weekend you will not be disappointed when it comes to the entertainment. New this year are a Japanese drumming group, a Ukrainian Dance troupe, and Fenyxfyre an escape artist who has appeared on Canada’s Got Talent. You can also look forward to foot stompin’ live music, and of course, the kid’s talent show. Details on the days and times will be posted on the Facebook page and website.
After getting your fill of great food, watching/playing an exciting game of slo-pitch or simply just taking in the experience we are sure you are going to want and sit down with an ice-cold beer. Well don’t worry, we even have a place for you to do just that! You can head over to the curling club for a drink and socialize with festival goers. The beer gardens accepts cash only and is open from Friday to Monday, closing at 9pm on Friday so everyone can get to the dance.
The Fall Fishing Festival would not be what it is today without the FISHING of course. One of the main things our community likes to celebrate and take pride in being is a world-class fishing destination. Did you know the world record brook trout was caught in the Nipigon River, just 20 km up stream from Nipigon? You can look forward to the whole family being able to participate in our fish derbies for this weekend which includes a One-Day Salmon Derby and One-Day Huck Finn.
The one day Salmon Derby for the heaviest Salmon and winner takes home $1,000 CASH. It is $30 per ticket, paid via e-transfer. The second and third place salmon will take prizes and a mystery weight prizes. The start time will be 6:00 AM EST and the weigh-in will take place at the Nipigon Curling Club between 2 – 4:30 pm. All fishing must be done in the Nipigon River system and they are accepting all Salmon species. For more information contact Matt Dupuis to enter (807) 633-7859 or FFFsalmonderby2022@gmail.com.
The Huck Finn Derby is a tradition for many. Bring your fish in OR catch and release and show us a date stamped picture of you with your fish (Must be caught September 5th, 2022). Entry station is located in the Multipurpose Room at the Nipigon Community Centre. The Derby is open to any child 12 and under, one entry per child and ENTRY IS FREE with all species accepted. All kids receive a prize at time of entry.
One of the best things about the Nipigon Fall Fishing Festival is there is something for EVERYONE. So, whether you are 2 or 102, come on out to the Nipigon Fall Fishing Festival! We can’t wait to see you!