Manitou Boogaloo introduces new generations to community, Danceland

What was originally a fundraising event hosted at Manitou Beach is starting to gain traction.

In fact, people who attended this year’s second annual Manitou Boogaloo are asking organizers about the possibility of turning the gathering into a two-day festival. 

Lenore Maier of Saskatoon surf rock band The Garrys said originally the group wanted to promote an album they made about the community.

Last year about 275 people turned out for the inaugural Manitoo Boogaloo according to Maier. She estimated over 400 people came for this year’s edition.

Maier said the event is introducing new generations to the historic Danceland venue, where the Boogaloo is held.

“There’s lots of people coming in from out of town who aren’t familiar with Danceland,” Maier said. “It’s sort of like introducing the younger generations to some different ways of enjoying music.”  

Lenore Maier and her sisters make up The Garrys, a Saskatoon-based surf rock band who also helped organize the first and second Manitou Boogaloo events, hosted in Manitou Beach, located 95 kilometres southeast of Saskatoon. (Submitted by Jade Bugera)

While she says there’s no question a third Manitou Boogaloo will happen, it’s a matter of finding resources before deciding whether or not the gathering will be a festival or not. Right now, she and her partners are trying to figure out the logistics of hosting a festival. 

Fundraising for spay/neuter program

While the Boogaloo features local artists and a historic venue in Danceland, the gathering also raises money for a spay and neuter program for stray animals in the Manitou Beach and Watrous area. 

Maier said 25 per cent of the funds raised through ticket sales, penny parade and a silent auction are donated. The remaining funds are used to cover overhead costs of the gathering. 

On Saturday, Maier said it’s too early to know what the final amount raised was, but noted that the 2018 Boogaloo brought in more than $2,000 for their efforts.

The Big Float

Once the music had winded down on Friday, those in the area for the gathering descended on Manitou Lake to try and set a record for number of people floating in the lake at one time. 

Manitou Lake is known for its high mineral content, which allows people to remain buoyant while swimming. 

Organizers aspired to set a Guinness World Record for most people floating and reading at the same time, but that was too specific. Instead they opted to see how many people they could get floating on the lake in one go. (Submitted by Erica Maier)

Some 1,640 people participated in the float according to Watrous Manitou Beach Tourism social media pages. The event was organized to celebrate Manitou Beach’s 100 anniversary.

“There was so many people out, it was an amazing day, everybody was feeling great and, just an amazing weekend to be out here,” Maier said.