Gooderham is celebrating its 150th birthday this year, and the hamlet’s music festival July 28 is keeping the celebrations going.

Valerie Dugale, chair of the Gooderham Community Action Group, said making a few changes to the timing of the festival has allowed them to bring a tribute band to headline. “We have shortened the time from 1-7 p.m. instead of the whole day. We found shortening it up allowed us more money for bands.”

The music festival has four bands slotted to play throughout the day starting with the B&B Blues Band at 1 p.m. Rockin’ Bob’s at 3 p.m., the Salt Cellars at 5 p.m., and Ed’s Garage at 7 p.m.

Along with great music will be a BBQ, homemade baked goods, and other refreshments. “We also have T-shirts and calendars for sale celebrating the Gooderham spirit,” Dugale said.

One of the things that has made a difference this year is a grant from the Haliburton County Development Corporation (HCDC). Dugale said they were able to put road signs up further afield. “This has really allowed us to go bigger, get it on the map, so to speak.”

The festival ran for two years before COVID and then last year and this year. Dugale said the two years that things were in hiatus has actually been good for the community action group. “When we couldn’t do much, a lot of new members came into the group. People who had cottages up here moved up permanently, so we came out of COVID with a much bigger and stronger Gooderham Community Action Group.”

The goal of the group is to bring people together, to celebrate and help one another out.

The group was formed in 2001 and has been planning events and promoting the area ever since.

“We still have a number of events coming up,” said Dugale. “We have the 503 street sale in August, a trunk and treat Halloween event where people come, open their trunks and hand out candy. We had more than 50 children last year.”

The group is able to fund their events through a bottle return. Gooderham Timber Mart built a bottle shed a number of years ago on their property, and the community drops off their empty bottles, (beer and other spirits).

“We really thank our community because they drop off their empties to keep us funded,” Dugale said. “It is such a fabulous community. We have also been able to provide a bursary for a student going on to post-secondary studies.”

For more information about the Gooderham Music Festival, and other events in the area, log onto their website at gooderhamontario. ca.