This year, Burton held its dazzling Daze at the end of summer on Sept. 6 and 7, perhaps put off by the heavy rains that came last June.
Missing and missed this year was the La Di Da parade, a crowd favourite, but the canoe-bike-run triathlon was once again a full mix of pathos (for those who stayed up late the night before), slapstick, and all around fun. Although there was no clowning around this year, there were a couple of traffic snags, one camper in particular got caught on the course start/finish flags, but generally the racers made their way in winning form.
The Smokers were back again, and there was as much speculation this year as last that the team name was a smoke screen for a bunch of young non-smokers lulling the competition into a false sense of security with their anti-athletic moniker. Launching themselves out of the water first from the frenetic zig zag of canoes to the marker boat and back, the Smokers lei’d the way for a good lead, giving their biker a multiple minute head start.
The Gorbys, the Rocket Surgeons, Clark Drive and Ross Co. tagged and tailed just behind the Smokers, with some lapping occurring during the running component of the race. The Smokers burned in with a time of 41:30, the Rocket Surgeons sewed it up in 44:30, the Gorbys proclaimed ‘Perestroika’ at 47:40, Clark Drive made it home at 48:20, and one-man triathlon Ross Co. and his encouraging entourage crossed the finish line at 56:40.
Fastest time was awarded to the Smokers, Rocket Surgeons garnered the “oldest team” award with their combined age of 213 (and looking good). Youngest team, at 70 years, was the Clark Drivers, and one-man wonder Alan Ross’s Ross Co. received props for his tenacious athleticism. The Gorbys and Clark Drive also had team members competing in two of three legs of the Burton triathlon, which received honourable murmurs from the crowd gathered at the Burton gazebo.
The next race was up to the Farmers’ Market, Harvest Lunch and Fall Fair being held at the Burton Community Hall, and the vineyard tours being held by the Arrow Lakes Grape Growers Society.
The ALGGS were out standing in their field, the test plot in Burton, giving tours to interested folks. Society members Jerry Botti and Joel Henschke walked visitors through the field and its little pink drink boxes filled with vine varietals explaining the experimental program.
The last farmers’ market of the year was busy despite the unpredictable weather, and the lunch was as popular as ever with a half-dozen soups, chili, sandwiches, and of course delectable desserts. Music, coffee, and lots of visiting were the order of the day, and just the beginning of the rest of the Daze. The horseshoe tournament continued that afternoon, and the beer gardens were preparing for a hopping evening. Long live Burton City!