One of the things I’ve loved this summer, is attending community festivals.
First, there was the Strawberry Festival, held in June in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Next, over the August long weekend, I attended Canal Days in Port Colborne. Then, one hot weekend in the middle of August, it was the Peach Festival.
A couple of weeks ago, it was the Marshville Heritage Festival.
I first stumbled upon the Marshville Heritage Village one day last fall, and was immediately drawn to the site. History is a huge passion of mine, and not just the stuff about kings and queens – the history of everyday people like us is fascinating to me too. Wandering around old buildings, looking at artifacts from the past, makes me really think about what it would have been like to live in another time.
The Marshville Heritage Village consists of many buildings, including a school, a steam saw mill, a blacksmith shop, log cabin, stone farmhouse, and lots more. Together, these heritage buildings re-create what the town of Wainfleet would have been like during the 1800’s.
Since 1988, the Marshville Heritage Festival has been running at the site. This popular weekend event gives visitors an opportunity to experience the lifestyle of a Wainfleet farm family in the 1890’s.
Let’s start off with a look at some of the buildings.
My personal favourite is the schoolhouse.
I have this thing for old schoolhouses. I don’t know why.
When they’re all set up like this one, I feel as though I really have stepped back in time. I almost expect this throng of young people to come rushing in at any moment, full of exuberance and energy. I could just feel them jostling each other in a dash to get to their seats. I could hear their laughter and squeals of happiness myself.
Then I realized there was actually a reason for hearing this laughter. A children’s performer was set up just across from the school, and a group of kids were happily trying to catch the bubbles he was blowing.
I’m sure some grown-ups were tempted to join in too. Come on, don’t you still feel the urge to chase bubbles?
There were lots of things to keep the children happy. The horse-drawn wagon rides seemed to be a hit with kids of all ages.
Some were also learning valuable skills from those days. Like how to use a saw. Even the little ones joined in, closely supervised by Mom and Dad.
There were demonstrations on how to use an axe to chop wood too.
Forget the gym. Can you imagine the back muscles we’d have if we had to saw and chop wood on a regular basis?
Right beside the sawing and chopping was the blacksmith’s shop. Horsehoses were being made and sold at a rapid pace.
Right across from there, is the Morgan-Neff Cabin, which dates from 1841. There was a group of talented gents singing on the front porch. They had absolutely beautiful voices, and drew quite the crowd.
Now let’s talk about the food. So much food. From more traditional fare,
To the deliciously innovative Perogie Poutine that I chose for myself.
Isn’t that a thing of beauty? Every carb lover’s dream. Perogies, fresh cut fries, gravy, fried onions and ooey, gooey, perfectly melty cheese. I love traditional poutine, and don’t often deviate from the classic. But I’m so glad I did on this occasion. It really was one of the best poutines I’ve ever devoured.
Worth every single calorie.
It’s funny though. I posted this on Twitter when I was eating it. I got a lot of reactions from friends who thought it sounded as incredible as I did. Then some more healthfully inclined people wondered how on earth could I possibly eat something so heavy, carb-y, and cheesy?
Very simply. With my mouth.
After my feast, we walked around some more. I’ve said this a million times before, but one of the things that I love about these events is seeing how all ages enjoy them. I never saw this very much in Toronto.
The festival takes place every year over three days on Labour Day weekend. There is so much to see, that I can imagine some people go back more than once. In addition to what I’ve mentioned here, there was a section of vendors and crafters, plenty of music and entertainment, and a car show.
Music to my Ken’s ears.
A really fun day out, and I’m glad we were able to get there this year.
Oh, and if you’re looking for a different holiday event to attend, they also do “Christmas in the Village” . It will be held Sunday, November 27th, 2016, from 1-4pm. There is no entry fee, but they ask that you bring some non-perishable food for the food bank.
I’ll meet you at the Gingerbread stand.