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Pursuit: Nipigon Fall Fishing Festival more than a fishing derby says Suzanne Kukko

Nipigon's Fall Fishing Festival has brought resident, visitors, and community businesses and organizations together for over six decades, and Suzanne Kukko and her committee can not wait to get this year's started.

NIPIGON -- This year’s Nipigon Fall Fishing Festival has been in the planning stages since May, 2022 and one individual behind all of this planning is Suzanne Kukko, chair of the Nipigon Fall Festival Committee.

Kukko has been involved with the festival for more than 10 years, having started out by getting a float ready to represent her place of employment, for the festival parade.

She’s been involved and volunteering for this festival ever since. Kukko speaks fondly of how as chair of the committee, a position she has held since 2019, she has had the privilege of working with a great group of individuals, most of which are volunteers, the Township of Nipigon, and local businesses. This partnership has worked well together to continue organizing an event that has lasted for over six decades.

For Kukko the fishing festival has been more than just what she describes as “a fishing derby”. “The festival is an opportunity for friends, family and visitors to come together and enjoy a taste of amazing local food, great entertainment, and participate in a variety of fun activities,” said Kukko.

The festival does not just provide numerous opportunities to showcase the vibrant community of Nipigon, its resident, businesses and its lifestyle. It also provides funding for some important community programs. Kukko described how, “Proceeds from the festival benefit a variety of community programs such as minor hocky, youth curling, Nipigon Legion, Elks Lodge, North Shore Golf Club, the Nipigon Curling Club and supports the funding of cadets, and bursaries for students graduating from high school,” described Kukko.

Kukko reflected on the restrictions of the past global pandemic and how it affected the fishing festival.

COVID-19 restrictions did have an impact last year according to Nipigon Fall Fishing Festival Committee chair Suzzane Kukko. She shared that, “Our slow-pitch teams were cut in half and we couldn’t have mid-way rides, but this year we are back to the full four-day festival that is running Friday to Monday,” said Kukko.

This year even though the committee couldn’t bring back the mid-way rides, it will still have the bouncy castles for the kids, and it’s five-kilometres fun run.

The slow-pitch tournament is one of the biggest of its kind in the North shore. In addition, “We will have our full roster for the slow-pitch tournament, a full slate of vendors, and entertainment,” said Kukko.

Other key events planned during the days of the festival include:

  • 5K Fun-walk-Sept. 2
  • One day Salmon Derby-Sept. 3
  • Kids Talent Show
  • Nipigon fall festival parade and a home coming dance party

This year’s Fall Fishing Festival is scheduled to take place Sept. 2 to Sept. 5, 2022 at the Nipigon Arena.

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