LaSalle Approves Temporary Move of Strawberry Festival

LaSalle will be moving its annual Strawberry Festival further inland this summer.

Gil Maure Park host's the event every year, but the ground is so saturated that safety has become a concern. Council agreed unanimously to move the event and spend around $45,000 to add utilities, fencing, and additional security to the back lot of the Vollmer Complex Thursday night.

Paid for out of a "contingency budget" Councillor Sue Desjarlais says was saved-up by the town after some bad weather and emergency teardowns in the past. She says the additional cash going towards adding power and water to the field and parking lot actually has a silver lining.

"That's infrastructure that we can make use of going forward," she says.

Desjarlais says some good financial planning means the town won't be scrambling after paying for the move.

"We've managed to put away enough money that this year the extra expenses are maybe half of our contingency fund, so we're going to have money left over," Desjarlais added.

Residents have told members of council they're behind the temporary location, according to the event committee member.

"We'd rather have the festival and be safe than leave it down there, have an accident or worse yet, cancel it," she says.

She says no events or attractions will be cancelled due to the move.

The Strawberry Festival begins June 6 at the Vollmer Complex off Laurier Dr. near Malden Rd. — it will return to the waterfront in the summer of 2020.