Can you hear the Rafferty Rumble coming?

Colourful, loud and fun. The Rafferty Rumble is returning to Estevan this summer, gaining power and offering a lot of new activities.

The Rumble wave presented by Power Dodge will cover the Energy City and the surrounding area on July 26-28.

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Lifestyles talked to head organizer of the much-anticipated comebackfestival Josh LeBlanc about what to expect from this big--scale summer event.

With two months left until the dates most of the three-day schedule is already filled with sports tournaments, community activities, entertainment and shows.

And while the public will have a chance to enjoy the event in the middle of summer, the organizers and business community are putting their efforts together now.

“The business community has been very supportive, downtown businesses have been awesome to work with for us,” said LeBlanc. “It’s not easy revitalizing an event that went once, something at one point in time. We are very, very appreciative that the business community’s jumped on to help us with their support, their knowledge, everything that’s happened within the past. It’s been going really well.”

The event list is gradually being revealed, but there are still a few more surprises to come.

“We are still waiting on two more tournaments to be announced. Once we know these tournaments, it will be good to go,” said LeBlanc. 

The production team that brought the Footloose, School of Rock and Hairspray will team up with the Rafferty Rumble to put on Rock of Ages. The musical will be running July 24-28 with show times to be announced later.

The first day of the rumble on July 26, the air over Estevan will be filled with the roar of engines, as the Eve of Destruction will get the crowd over to the Estevan Motor Speedway. The same day the slo-pitch tournament will begin.

And July 27 promises to be one of the busiest days of the year for Estevan. On the sports side, there will be flag football and soccer tournaments going on. Fresh Air Fitness along with Jofit and Tash will invite citizens to take part in the Force Athletic Competition, and the TS&M Woodlawn Golf Coursewill be offering free range balls and a free one-hour golf clinic for all ages and abilities at 2 p.m.

Downtown there will be a music festival and a free pancake breakfast served to everyone who bought a pass. On top of that, there will be a market with a variety of goods and food trucks making sure that everybody will have enough energy for the rest of the day. Some local restaurants also expressed interest in participating in the event.

Also, there will be a car show and Estevan Power DodgeBruins will also be holding a street hockey tournament.

The Chamney Paving street dance will start at 8 p.m.

“That’s a no minors event. So minors are allowed downtown, but after 8 p.m. we ask that they clear the area and we will be seizing child tickets at 7:30 p.m.,” said LeBlanc.

The music festival will offer a lot of variety as eight bands will be playing throughout the day, and three more bands will beaccompanying the street dance. The performers will be Megan Nash, Hook & Nail, Ross LeBlanc Trio, Fogdog, El Guitaro, Nick Faye and the Deputies, Bombargo, Brock Andrews, Dead Levee, Bromantics and West of Mabou.

Bud Light beer gardens will help the adult crowd to fuel up for dances.

With most of the puzzle pieces in place now the committee just needs to polish everything up to make sure that the rumble becomes a great success.

“It’s been an amazing experience... The city, they’ve been amazing to work with us. Estevan Police, Estevan Fire, Emergency Services have been great doing the planning… I definitely have to thank the committee and the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum (EAGM) board, they have been working very, very hard with me to put this on. And also the organizing committee,” said LeBlanc.

Now the committee is working with the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA), trying to figure out some final challenges.

The public is encouraged to buy their passes in advance at the EAGM, Henders Drugs, A & A Jewellery and Coldwell Banker Choice Real Estate. Adult tickets are $20, children five-18 years of age are $10, and under five are free.

“That will get you the pass to downtown. There will be extra charges for things like Eve of Destruction, the musical and all that kind of stuff,” said LeBlanc. “It’s a one-day fee. So if you want to bring your family down till five o’clock, go home and get ready for the street dance, you are not paying an additional charge. That’s a full-day pass for you.”

To make this event happen the committee will attract hundreds of volunteers. There are about 700 two-hour volunteer shifts planned to satisfy all requests including SLGA, emergency services and others and make sure that every little piece of the rumble is running smoothly.

“If people want to volunteer, if they volunteer for two two-hour shifts, four hours altogether, the art gallery will give them the option of paying for their pass or not… If they want to donate it, it’s highly encouraged, but we will give them that option,” said LeBlanc.

To become a volunteer one would need to go to raffertyrumble.com and apply through the website. 

“Within the next month or so you’ll see everything wrap up from volunteer requests to marketing. Our goal is to be full fledge givin’ ‘er by June 10,” said LeBlanc.

He also thanked all sponsors for their support and participation and noted that there are still more sponsorship options available.

“If anybody does want to sponsor or they want more information they can contact me by my phone at 306-421-6778. And we’ll be able to help them out somehow,” said LeBlanc.

© Copyright Estevan Mercury

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