Gran Fondo expands to become a weekend of FUN and FUNdraising

Gran Fondo Lake Huron is over for another year and was successful beyond expectations with more than 700 cyclists from Ontario, across Canada and as far away as England taking part.

It was the dream of Tracy Murray, Executive Director Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation (SMHF) to turn, what was a one-day event to raise funds for local health care, into an all weekend celebration and so it happened this year.

It began Saturday morning, August 19th. with the addition of the new KIDS’ ride at the Plex in Port Elgin. Some 80 young bike riders registered, received Gran Fondo backpacks and then pedalled their way around a specific route that was closed to traffic.  While en-route, they stopped at seven activity stations where they took part in fun activities and put souvenirs into their new backpacks.

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Then, Saturday night, it was time for the adults at the first ever Bruce County Bash at the Southampton Coliseum.

The audience was made up of a wide age demographic where they took in the popular 54.40 band with special guests, Tommy Younsteen.

It was a rockin’ night with refreshments provided by 3 Sheets Brewery.

The musicians were excellent, the music was loud and everyone there appeared to love it as they crowded toward the stage to get even more.

The Vancouver quartet’s name is a reference to a U.S political slogan from the 1840s (“Fifty-four forty or Fight!”) that called for the American annexation of what is now British Columbia.  The group is also a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

Outside, waiting for the venue to open, everyone had the chance to enjoy a variety of foods from sandwiches to hot dogs.

‘Food on the Move – the Snack Dealer’, from Underwood, served up delicious hot dogs and cheese dogs along with salty and sweet nutty snacks.


“More than 800 music lovers pre-purchased tickets to listen to this fantastic group, 54.40 and in support of local health care. This is simply amazing,” said Executive Director, Tracy Murray.

Stay tuned for more on the cycling event of the year …