July 20-22, 2023
Country music fans from far and wide descended on the Armstrong Farm this past weekend for the tenth edition of the Shawville Lions Country Jamboree.
With a full docket of entertainers taking the stage from Thursday evening until late into Saturday night, the Jamboree was a celebration of the enduring legacy and undoubtable popularity of country music within the Ottawa Valley.
“We stay strictly to a country music theme,” said event organizer Edward Walsh. “That’s still a very popular genre here in the Pontiac, and we have a bunch of loyal followers who come back year after year.”
Contained within the rolling, grassy fields of the Armstrong Farm, the Jamboree’s camping facilities were packed with trailers. Organized neatly into individualized lots, festival goers parked themselves adjacent to one another and socialized over sizzling barbecues, cold beverages and country melodies ringing out from the event’s stage.
According to Walsh, the Jamboree is one of the Lions Club’s biggest annual fundraisers, with all its proceeds eventually ending up back in the Pontiac.
“Every dime that comes in goes back into the community; nothing stays with the club itself. In the past we’ve raised around $10,000,” Walsh said.
Tickets for the event cost $90 per person for camping ($75 in advance), $50 for a walk-in weekend pass or $30 for a day walk-in pass. As always, attendance at Thursday evenings performances was free of charge.
“If you happen to be going around the campgrounds, you’ll notice a lot of these people, they travel in a circuit. There’s a Jamboree in different little towns over every weekend, so they travel around and camp at the same events. They become friends and get to know each other,” Walsh said.
“They come for the same reason – to enjoy country music. And they’re in the right place for that.”
Walsh concluded by thanking the Jamboree’s many sponsors and the small army of volunteers whose tireless work makes the event possible year-after-year.
“We start probably anywhere from eight to 10 days prior to the Jamboree just to get the venue set up – things like cutting the grass, picketing the signage and all that stuff. So, you know, we have a great bunch of individuals at the Lions Club who dedicate their time to getting this event running.
“And then also a special thank you to our sponsors. We have great people that, if we didn’t have them, we wouldn’t even be able to hold the event.”
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