Manotick Kiwanis Helps Make Capital Fair Opening Day Special

By Ralph Tweedie, Manotick Kiwanis Club

August is a great month for family adventures. As Kiwanians, one of our goals is to have fun and make new friends while supporting our community and our children.

Every August the Capital Fair at Rideau Carleton Raceway dedicates a private day free for children with development and / or physical disabilities. This year the date was August 17th. These children would not otherwise be able to attend a fair, which makes it a very special day for them.

It is a special day for us too. Every year, on the Thursday before the fair officially starts, members of the Kiwanis Club of Manotick volunteer to help make this day a big success. Up to 1,500 special needs kids with their family members get to experience a fair designed just for them. 

The midway rides are free and run a little slower with quieter ride music. Volunteers help guests on and off the rides. There is a petting zoo and a karaoke party in the Kid’s area. An all-beef hotdog lunch complete with ice cream dessert is provided and served by volunteers in the Hydro Ottawa lunch tent.

On Sunday, August 27th, the Manotick Village & Community Association is sponsoring the 11th annual Allan Haan Manotick Soapbox Derby. The day also includes a community picnic in Centennial Park with a BBQ from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM.

This is truly an event where the whole family can get involved in the design and building of the carts. One member then rides it down the hill on Beaverwood. There have been some ingenious designs entered over the years. It is not all about winning the race. Seeing the faces of the participants as they finish their run is the best evidence of that.

Since its inception Kiwanis members have been happy to volunteer for many of the duties required to help run the Derby. This typically includes cart inspection at the start of the race, manning many of the barricades along the track, and the timing and recording of results at the finish line. Our goal is for everyone to have a great time.

Sound like fun? Come to a meeting and see for yourself. If you want to make new friends while improving your community, we can show you how. Starting at 6 PM on September 5th we will meet on the first Tuesday of every month at the Manotick Legion.

If you have any questions, please contact Debbie Mulvihill by phone (613-692-5346) or email ( or Gary Coulombe by phone (613-462-4030) or email (

Members of the Manotick Kiwanis Club were at the Capital fair volunteering for Special Needs Day Thurs., Aug. 17.