Essex – Looking for inspiration? Looking for an outlet for your creative energy? Visitors to the John R. Park Homestead may find both while enjoying a wide range of vendors and demonstrators in the annual celebration of creativity from days past, at the popular, annual Lost Arts Festival.
The event, which runs from Noon to 4pm on Sunday, August 7, sees the Homestead grounds transform into a bustling marketplace of artists, artisans, and craftspeople demonstrating their techniques and sharing their extensive knowledge about their work.
The Homestead will also host the Lac Ste. Claire Voyageurs. The group, based out of Michigan, will set up an authentic recreation of a camp of voyageurs, a name given to early French Canadians who established trade routes over huge distances and were known for their tough pioneer lifestyle and diverse skill set. Each Voyageur will be demonstrating their own rugged skill set – from broom making to paddle carving, from candle dipping to button making and everything in between!
Stroll through the heart of the encampment and see the voyageurs at work making and sharing stories about their travels, and tips of their trades. Visitors will also have the opportunity to get hands-on in these Lost Arts and assist in various activities throughout the grounds of the Homestead, which is the only living history agricultural museum west of London.
From there, visitors can watch as the Homestead’s resident blacksmith turns raw iron into detailed pieces, learn about papermaking with invasive species, or get up close and personal with pollinators at the beekeeping demonstration. They’ll meet the artists and craftspeople who engage in these traditions, gain some knowledge, and find out how they can fit one of these generations-old hobbies into modern life.
“This festival is a great opportunity to get hands-on with the creation of pieces that are both beautiful and functional, to meet artisans, and to get inspired with hands-on experiences,” said Homestead Curator Kris Ives.
After taking in the assortment of artistry, visitors can tap their toes to the old-time tunes of the Essex County Ramblers or test their early settler skills with some traditional pioneer games and activities. Visitors can also make a day of it and enjoy a BBQ lunch at the Kingsville Lions’ food booth and some delicious local fruits and vegetables from The Fruit Wagon.
For more information, contact the Homestead: 519-738-2029, or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Homestead was named Ontario’s Best Living History Museum. Since 1973, the Essex Region Conservation Authority has served as a community-based organization dedicated to protecting, restoring and managing the natural resources of the Essex Region.