Sports Other Sports

Fourth annual FrogFest

Labignan makes a splash

By Matt McNiven

Niagara resident and fishing celebrity Italo Labignan.

Niagara resident and fishing celebrity Italo Labignan.

With temperatures expected to be in the mid-teens this weekend, the Heartland Forest’s fourth annual FrogFest is sure to be a ribbiting event.

Niagara resident and fishing celebrity Italo Labignan, who’s hosted the TSN show Canadian Sportfishing for 27 years, will be at FrogFest Saturday to take part in the festivities.

Labignan, who will be at the event from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., said he’s looking forward to meeting kids, teaching them about fishing and having them “experience the wonderful environment.”

He said he will be giving them tips on fishing, including casting lines, and hopes they will “just enjoy nature.”

“It’ll be a great day for kids to come out and take part in the activities,” said Labignan, who has been on the Heartland Forest’s board of directors for more than 10 years.

Other activities for the weekend, which will include face-painting, train rides, mini-putt and a bouncy castle, will cost less than they did last year.

In previous years, each activity cost a small fee, but this year there will only be a one-time entry fee.

Admission to FrogFest will be $10 for a family, $3 for an individual, and free for children five and under.

Elisabeth Graham, the executive director of Heartland Forest, said this way is “simpler for families” because of the lower cost.

She said there is an admission price because the money, along with all donations, is used to fund other Heartland activities as well as maintaining the forest and its trails and ponds.

“It’s about sustainability for Heartland Forest, to make sure we’re around for the community to enjoy,” Graham said. “We want to be here and be active and to preserve and educate.”

Graham, who said this year’s FrogFest has a fish theme, said it will be “an educational event for the whole family.”

Heartland Forest is located at 8400 Kalar Rd., and will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, go to www.heartlandforest.org or call Elisabeth Graham at 905-359-1707.

Heartland Forest is open to the public free-of-charge year round from 9 a.m. to dusk.

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