The 2016 Salmon Spectacular in Owen Sound

At the end of every August, Southern Ontario’s usually idyllically tranquil city of Owen Sound hosts what can only be described as the fish derby of the century. Except it happens every year. And has for the last 29 years. The longevity of this event – better known as the Salmon Spectacular – speaks to its unwavering popularity among people from near and far. In fact, this 10-day foray into all things fishy attracts over 50,000 people to the community, with over 200 sponsors helping to bring the event to life.

This year’s event kicked off on August 26th, and for over a week, avid anglers fished their faces off for a chance to snag the biggest catch. Unfortunately, there can be only one winner for each category, and this year’s major titles went to Tony Harnack of Annan, who scored the biggest salmon, weighing-in at a whopping 25.24 lb, and Brian McKibbon, who reeled in a massive 18.76 lb. rainbow trout.

If you’ve ever been to Owen Sound, the abundance of big, beautiful fish won’t surprise you. Perfectly situated at the mouths of the Pottawatomi and Sydenham Rivers on an arm of Georgian Bay, the community enjoys ideal fishing conditions in every season.

Lauded as the social event of the year, the Salmon Spectacular has something for everyone – even if the idea of hooking a worm or gutting a fish makes you want to gag. While the mouth-watering smells from the giant fish fry and ringing of the bell at weigh-station to signal a new reigning champ are by far the most exciting sensory experiences for people with fish on the brain, there are also schools of other entertainment, including live music, a fashion show, daily draw prizes, carriage rides through the historic downtown, and an amazing kid’s zone, replete with games, rides, treats, and prizes.

If you missed this year, there’s always 2017. Block the end of August off your calendar and get ready to create your own fish tale.

Hollay Ghadery

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