Brussels Homecoming begins its one-year countdown
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Last Thursday marked the beginning of the one-year countdown until Brussels Homecoming 2022, a weekend that will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the village.
The committee marked the occasion with a modest Facebook post, but there are plenty of reasons to celebrate, with the event now less than a year away.
Co-chair Dan Fritz says that members of the committee are still in the planning phase of the event, but that some wheels are now in motion.
Merchandising Chair Brad Beuermann has been working with several local suppliers - Tammy King of Solace Spa and Dorothy Cummings of Barmy Tech - about some ideas. Fritz said the final product line will be approved at the next meeting in the hopes that pre-orders will be open at the beginning of October, with sales to begin after Remembrance Day.
Fritz said that directors Sherrie Oliver and Pam McLean are also working on a handful of ideas for a launch party and Fritz says details should be released soon.
Fritz says that Co-chair and Events Chair Mike Thomas has received approximately 40 submissions for event proposals for over the course of the homecoming weekend. Thomas is now working through them in an effort to create a draft schedule.
Many of those proposals came by way of a meeting in June, which allowed community groups and service clubs to make proposals, though no events have been finalized yet.
At that meeting, several groups and individuals proposed hosting open houses, meals or activities to keep people busy over the course of the weekend.
Monique Baan proposed an open house at the Brussels Library, saying it’s possible some former residents hadn’t been back to the village since it was renovated years ago. The library is traditionally open on Saturdays, she said, but she would also be willing to staff an open house on the Sunday of the homecoming weekend.
She also suggested an element of Brussels history with the help of the Huron County Museum. While Baan said she had not yet checked with the museum, she suggested that perhaps the museum could supply some items of Brussels history to be displayed at the library over the course of the weekend.
Alex Jebson, student minister at the Brussels United Church, suggested that the church could host an informal coffee, tea and conversation space at the church. He also said the church is happy to volunteer its space, whether it be the sanctuary or the lower hall, for any other groups or displays that need a home over the course of the weekend.
Sandra Brown and other Brussels Legion representatives said the Branch would like to host a fish fry dinner for the homecoming. She said it would be best for the meal to be the same day as the parade (a date for the parade has yet to be set, though Fritz did note that at the last homecoming it was held on Saturday at noon), but that any day over the course of the weekend would be fine.
The Legion could also be open for pub nights throughout the weekend, with karaoke being a possibility for one of the nights as well, Brown said.
Perry Pearce of the Brussels Lions Club suggested that the club could host a breakfast. He also said there had been some discussion about combining the club’s annual fiddle jamboree, traditionally held in July, with a breakfast, creating one exciting event during the homecoming.
Brian Deitner and Don Hastings of the Brussels station of the Huron East Fire Department also suggested hosting a breakfast, while also offering to help co-ordinate the parade.
Brett Fischer of the Blyth Brussels Minor Hockey Association said the league could look at hosting a youth ball hockey tournament and perhaps a small skills camp as part of the homecoming.
Julie Pearce of the Brussels Horticultural Society suggested the creation of a decorating competition for homes and businesses, incorporating the homecoming’s colours of black, white and blue.
She also said it would be nice to have flowers planted around the village ahead of the event, but that members would need help in finding a blue flower to be featured that summer.
Doug Bremner from the Brussels Curling Club said the club wasn’t necessarily suggesting that it host an event, but that members could provide assistance with other events at the homecoming as needed.
Mary Douma, representing Melville Presbyterian Church, said the church could assist with a meal, perhaps making appetizers, sides or dessert, but that it likely couldn’t handle a meal for 400-500 diners on its own.
She also mentioned the possibility of a joint church service being hosted by the village’s churches, though, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a meeting of local faith leaders had not yet been assembled.
Shawn Daw, representing a handful of organizations, said the Brussels Optimist Club is considering hosting a meal over the course of the homecoming weekend, in addition to perhaps a beach volleyball tournament at the Optimist Clubhouse.
As for the Brussels Tigers and Brussels Minor Ball, Daw said the teams could co-ordinate with famed local player Ty Sebastian to organize an exhibition game between his high-end team and the Brussels Tigers, in addition to a “skills and drills” session for the younger players.
Other suggestions also included a shirttail parade on Sunday evening to wrap up the festivities, the Brussels Leo Club hosting a pop-up inflatable water park for a day, a touch-the-truck event hosted by Huron Area Search and Rescue (HASAR), an antique car show, a school tent and meet-your-teacher event and a performance by a circus dance group based in Clinton.
None of the events have been confirmed or approved by the homecoming committee.
For more information, continue to watch The Citizen and the Brussels 150th Homecoming’s Facebook page.