Bay Days was officially launched on Friday in North Bay.

The mid-June event will ride the coattails of Armed Forces Day and is designed to replace Summer in the Park.

Steve Dreany, the Director of Tourism North Bay, says Bay Days is all about local people coming together and organizing the events.

“We are not doing the programming and we are not putting on any of the events,” Dreany said at the launch.”

“It’s the people putting on the events.  They’re coming to us and we’re marketing it in a cohesive manner.”

Dreany says people wanted local, grassroots and free and the city is responding.

The City of North Bay has donated $10,000 to Bay Days.

Sponsors are putting up any other remaining funds that are needed.

Bay Days is scheduled for June 14th to the 16th in the city’s downtown and waterfront.

It begins a day after Armed Forces Day which takes place June 12th.

Dreany says the intent is not for Bay Days to take anything away from Armed Forces Days.

However, the hope for the future is Armed Forces Day can begin a day or two later so that it lines up a little closer with Bay Days.

Dreany says Bay Days is not Summer in the Park.

But the event was created because Dreany says the city recognized there could be a void without a Summer in the Park this August.

Bay Days includes live entertainment at the Kiwanis Band Shell provided by local talent.

The music kicks off the event and also on the 14th The North Bay Museum launches its “Ablaze:  Firefighting in North Bay” exhibition.

Saturday sees part of Main Street closed to traffic for daytime activities plus a sidewalk sale.

Also on Saturday, the Capitol Centre holds its Children’s Festival, the Farmer’s Market will be set up by the museum, there’s an inflatable playland, car show and Cheapskates once again has its Mayhem on Main.

Later in the day Saturday, the activities switch back to the waterfront with more live music again provided by local entertainers.

Sunday includes numerous events at the waterfront, among them a treasure hunt and sandcastle-building contest.

Dreany says there is still time for other groups to get activities in place for Bay Days.

Jamie Lathem of Creative Industries unveils Bay Days poster (Rocco Frangione staff)

He adds the goal is to grow the size of Bay Days in future years and early indications suggest that will happen.

Dreany says the groups taking part this year have already said they would like to try something a little bigger and more organized next year while others not part of Bay Days this year have said they would take part next year.

Dreany says what happens in the future will only be limited by the “imaginations of the people who are out there.”