This year a variety of animals will highlight numerous activities which will have roosters competing for best crowing, frogs competing for fastest hopping, and several pigs will delight visitors as they roam their pen at this year’s 15th annual Harvest Fall Festival at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum in Dunvegan on Sunday, September 21 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Nature’s alarm clock will compete once again for “Best Rooster”. The rooster which crows the most within a certain amount of time will be crowned winner by the judges. Encouragement from owners of the roosters and spectators is welcomed. Individuals will also be able to compete for prizes by providing their best rooster crowing imitation, in any language.
Not to be overlooked, children of all ages are invited to capture and bring the quickest frog to the Festival for a race at noon. According to organizer Matt Williams, “We were over-whelmed with the success of this event last year. The sound of croaking and encouraging owners could be heard throughout the grounds as competitors tried to ensure their pet frog would be victorious.” As an added bonus, this year participants will be able to attempt to identify their frog or toad in an effort to encourage the conservation of these important species in our area. Registration for the frog race will begin at 11:30, with the first race leaping to a start at noon.
The day’s activities will also include ongoing demonstrations of pioneer agriculture practices such as a Moody thrashing mill and a steam engine. These and other developments in agricultural technology placed farm labourers on the brink of starvation in the early 1800s, cutting their jobs by one quarter due to the mechanization of threshers which alleviated the task of separating the grain from the husk or stalks by hand.
Visitors will be able to witness one of the largest horse-drawn wagon and carriage parades in Eastern Ontario scheduled to start at 1 PM. Chloe-Ann Baker, a resident of Apple Hill, this year’s parade organizer and a long-time participant, expects a large number of vehicles in the parade. “This parade has always been one of the favourites of the many drivers of horse drawn vehicles in the area. Personally, I get a great feeling of accomplishment seeing the joy these beautiful animals bring to their owners and the more than 1000 visitors assembled to watch as they trot by.”
In addition to a blacksmith, 30 other artisans will demonstrate such things as quilting and weaving, threshing, leather tanning, rope making, stained glass, re-enacting, and bee keeping. There will even be an old-fashioned hair curler, Mrs. Chaumont, who will demonstrate a technique, taught to her by her grandmother, using cotton rags torn in strips to curl hair.
In the midst of all of these pioneer craft demonstrations there will be daylong music, the Harvest Sale Tent will be filled with preserves, local produce, baked goods, and plants, and volunteers will be demonstrating how to make home-made butter and ice cream. There will also be children’s pioneer games and crafts, a school teacher in the schoolhouse, a Penny Candy booth, and even a Town Crier as part of this unique, popular, and non-commercial annual event.
Thanks to the hard-work of the Dunvegan Recreation Association delicious sausages, desserts, chips, drinks, and other goodies will be available for purchase should you need to re-fuel as you take in all that the Harvest Fall Festival has to offer.
Admission is $5, with kids under 12 free, for the Harvest Fall Festival. We aim to keep the experience authentic, so please remember that the museum accepts cash only. This year’s festival is co-sponsored by Commonwell Mutual, Alexandria Caisse Populaire, and many other local businesses.
The Glengarry Pioneer Museum is located in Dunvegan, Ontario on County Road 24 (Dunvegan Road) at the crossroad with County Road 30 (Greenfield Road). Parking is available on the road, or nearby in the Presbyterian Church parking lot. Accessible parking is also available.