Getting around during Canal Days
New Haven Canal Days Festival goers are looking forward to a free concert Saturday, June 7 by the popular Southern and Christian rock group, Rhett Walker Band. The Grammy and GMA Dove Award nominated band will close the five-day festival Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the entertainment stage in Schnelker Park. In 2012 the band’s debut album earned them a Grammy nomination for Contemporary Christian Music’s song of the year.
The band will headline the festival’s second annual Faith and Family Night which last year drew more than 4,000 people. The day is designed to bring all generations and denominations together to celebrate the community. All activities are free. Parking will be available at New Haven High School at 1300 Green Road. Festival goers can use the pedestrian tunnel at the north end of the lot to pass under S.R. 930 directly into Schnelker Park.
Canal Days kicks off officially Tuesday, June 3 when the Army National Guard sets up headquarters in Schnelker Park. On display will be numerous vehicles, and a variety of communications and field equipment. Guardsmen will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate equipment starting at 6 p.m. The Midway will open at 5 p.m. and operate to 11 p.m.
The Farmer’s Market will open at 4 p.m. Wednesday with a wide array of craft and food booths. Main Stage activities for the day include a performance by the Holly Dodane 5678 Dance Studio at 5 p.m. followed by New Haven’s Got Talent and the 2nd annual Bulldog Beauty Pageant where real bulldogs compete for the title in three categories. Meanwhile, the Fort Wayne Taiko Drummers will be performing at the Gazebo.
Main Stage activities for Thursday include Christina Dyson Dancers at 5 p.m. followed by The Hitmen Band at 7 p.m.
Senior citizens are invited to a picnic in Schnelker Park at 11:30 a.m. Friday. The annual Classic Car Cruise will begin at 5 p.m. at the high school parking lot. Chris Worth & Company will be the featured band on the Main Stage at 7 p.m. followed by Family Movie Night Under the Stars.
Saturday is crammed full of activities. The Canal Days 5K gets things rolling at 7:30 a.m. at Havenhurst Park. Grand Marshall for the Canal Days Parade, which starts rolling along Park Avenue at 11 a.m., is long-time New Haven resident and veteran police officer Herb Baatz. Also starting at 11 a.m. is the corn hole tournament in the parking lot of Don Hall’s Restaurant on S.R. 930. Saturday is Kid’s Day in Schnelker Park Pavilion with all sorts of activities and crafts. The New Haven Alumni Band will present a concert in the Gazebo following the parade and then Mark’s Ark will take over the Gezebo at 2 p.m. followed by Joe Justice at 3:30 p.m. The Midway will close at midnight.
It wouldn’t be a festival without a food tent. It will be open Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from noon to midnight. The Merchant Tent will be open Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. Arts and crafts will be open 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. For more information, check out the festival’s website at www.newhavencanaldays.org.