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Tuesday September 27th, 2016

Posted at 10:00am

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There’s no better way to kick off the start of autumn than with an outdoor celebration of the bountiful harvest.

In that spirit, the John R. Park Homestead will welcome visitors on Sunday, October 2nd to experience old-fashioned fall merriment on the farm with the Harvest & Horses Festival.

From Noon until 4pm, the Homestead will host this popular fall festival, which combines all the elements of an old fashioned fall harvest with the exciting opportunity to meet all varieties of horses, big and small!

The Festival’s main event, the parade of breeds, will feature a variety of pedigrees – from ponies and miniature horses to the largest draft breeds including Percherons, each demonstrating their own special skills in the ring.

“Given the integral role horses played in farming well into the 1900s, they are a natural fit for the harvest event,” explained John R. Park Homestead Curator Kris Ives.

“What sets this event apart is the chance for visitors to get up close to meet the horses and their owners, and to see these incredible working animals in action” said Ives. “The parade, which starts at 1:30pm sharp, will be a great opportunity to learn about what makes each of these breeds special.”

In addition,  kids can also enjoy pony rides, pony cart rides, and a chance to climb into a pumpkin carriage.  Guests can also meet the Canadian Club Questers to learn about the exciting smokehouse renovation project. Those interested in local agricultural history will be thrilled to watch a horse drawn disking demonstration as well as a display of pioneer-era harvest tools.

New this year, the Homestead will welcome professional photographer Ted Kloske, who will be on-site to capture harvest-themed family portraits. Kloske will shoot and print the images on-site for a nominal fee.

The event also offers visitors the chance to participate in traditional pioneer harvest activities including cider pressing, apple drying, corn husk craft making, and more. Families are also invited to watch a blacksmithing demonstration or listen to scary stories in the attic of the 1842 house. Visitors can enjoy all of this while listening to the old-timey fiddle tunes of local band Mike Houston and the Woodchoppers. A BBQ lunch, refreshments, and harvest dessert will be available thanks to the Kingsville Lions.

Event admission is $6 for adult, $4 for a child, with a $20 family maximum.

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