Sidewinder in the park

FITZROY HARBOUR – No one knew what the weather might do minute from minute, but Sidewinder hit the stage before the storm to launch the start of the 24th annual Concerts in the Park music series.

With the barbecues firing around 6 p.m., the temperature was 35 Celsius – with the humidex, it felt like more than 40 C. Thunderstorms were also a possibility and dark clouds billowed in just before 8 p.m. But the just under 100 that braved the rapidly changing weather were treated to some classic rock songs performed by the energetic Sidewinder on a great evening in beautiful Fitzroy Provincial Park.

The Concerts in the Park series is a free music series featuring different musicians each week with a barbecue held on the grass in the park. They run every Thursday starting at 6 p.m. and are a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Last year’s series raised $4,400 for the children’s hospital.

Each concert a local community group gets to organize the barbecue and raise funds and awareness for themselves. This year, Merge Robotics cooked up the meat. The team is a community group of high school aged competitors that build a robot from scratch and compete at FIRST Robotics Competitions.

Merge is the rare FIRST Robotics team that is not affiliated with a high school and therefore has to fundraise their entire budget in order to compete.

Twelve of the 48 team members are residents of West Carleton (visit West Carleton Online tomorrow for complete coverage of Merge Robotics’ trip to this year’s world championships).

“We raise a bit of money and when they see the robot over there, they always have a few questions,” Merge Robotics mentor and Carp resident Kendra Shaw said.

The Heartbeats will be performing next Thursday (July 12).

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