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Events mark 100 years of history in Fort Frances. (Fort Frances).

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Fort Frances and the community located in northwestern Ontario's Rainy River district has a year of activities and promotions to mark the centenary milestone.

There is even a specially minted three-dollar coin that people will be able to use in several businesses throughout the town.

"Of course, people can use the coin right to the end of the year, but many people are buying them and keeping them as keepsakes," says Maria Simpson, Fort Frances' centennial celebration coordinator.

Businesses, local community groups and citizens are working at bringing together several celebration events throughout the year. Among the hopes for this year's events includes a successful homecoming for past residents during Homecoming Week June 26 to July 1, she says.

"We've sent out postcards to all past residents as an invitation for them to come back and celebrate the centennial year," says Simpson. "It's going to be an action-packed week with all kinds of activities...and it is our hope that people who are coming back will be bringing with them people who've never been to Fort Frances before."

Among events planned for that week include the Great Centennial Airport Show at the Fort Frances Municipal Airport on June 26. There will also be an unveiling of the War Brides plaque at the CN Station on the June 27 and the Great Centennial Golf Tournament on June 29.

July 1, the community will be opening the La Verendrye Parkway and there will be the unveiling of the Rainy Lake Mermaid.

"Because we are so close to the Minnesota border, we get quite a few American tourists," Simpson says. "We're hoping they'll see some of the things we have going on and stop in."

The year's activities kicked off with the actual 100th anniversary of Fort Frances in April. It was first declared a corporation April 11, 1903. A number of events have already taken place, but the major preparation right now is for the summertime events.

"Right now we don't have too much planned for the fall, but we're throwing around ideas," Simpson says.

"For now, our big focus is on the summer," says Simpson.

www.fort-frances.com
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Author:Wareing, Andrew
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Jun 1, 2003
Words:364
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