Unique Main Street...
The following is an excerpt from the Town of Newmarket website
"The Town of Newmarket has a small town charm, with big city conveniences. The close proximity to Toronto makes it attractive to business and citizens. A gentle blend of land-uses makes Newmarket a perfect location for young families and professionals alike. The Town of Newmarket is the home of York Regional Headquarters, and Southlake Regional Health Centre.
Main Street is a unique experience with early 1800s styled historic architecture, streetlights, and custom grown flower barrels. Its proximity to the Holland River Trail System and Fairy Lake allows for recreational, cultural and arts activities. Local businesses provide boutiques, patio eateries, live theatres and a seasonal farmer's market in a vibrant setting. Also located on Main Street is the Elman W. Campbell Museum, which has a collection of Newmarket artifacts."
"The following description of Newmarket is based Festival Nomad Correspondent, Carol Law's experiences as a long time resident of Newmarket and as a Festival Nomad Correspondent."
by Festival Nomad Correspondent, Carol Law
Newmarket is Festival Central this spring. Each Saturday the local Farmer's Market sets up at the Riverwalk Common which is becoming the gathering place for the town to enjoy music, a splash pad (skating in the winter) and many other activities. The River Walk Common extends along the Holland River right in the heart of Newmarket. From there you cross the road and you are at Fairy Lake where the festivals and events happen. This wonderful setting is part of the Nokidaa Trail - 32 km of historic, green space trail from Holland Landing in the north to Aurora at the south end.
In the Heart of the Community
Here in the heart of Newmarket is where we celebrate our community. Mid-June brought the Artisan's Festival presented by the Lions - for the 15th year! Many exhibitors, some also show at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto, reported that they really look forward to this well run, and well attended festival. The Lions take donations at the gate but admission is free. There are many beautiful and unique items that it is hard to decide what to take home! Fortunately the festival provides an ATM.
The next weekend, as I wondered over the early plants, lettuce and veggies at the market I saw streams of people going toward Fairy Lake. The Windfall Ecology Festival was on! Something eco-friendly for every aspect of living was available. Lots of information, activities for kids and my favourite amenity - the Bike Valet where you can safely leave your bike or stroller while you wander the paths through the festival.
River Walk Common
June 23 saw the River Walk Common transformed by Nin Os Kom Tin www.ninoskomtin.org run by the Nin Os Kom Tin which is the first off reserve Aboriginal group in York Region, this was a celebration, not a festival. The theme was "We are All One". Presenters included drummers, crafters, dancers, hoop dancers, singers and many interactive activities for children. The group distributed a very informative pamphlet explaining their customs, etiquette, and the importance of this sacred event. This was most interesting and very helpful. Some of these included being asked to stand during ceremonial songs and dances, do not hold a child while dancing in the dance area (the child would be considered a gift to the creator), no animals as these will confuse the animal spirits, do not sit in someone's chair without their permission, and the Fir is Sacred and the only thing that can be burned in the fire are Wood and the Four Medicines. Having this information really helped the audience appreciate what was being presented.
Canada Day: Fairy Lake held the family fun activities around Fairy Lake park and up and down Main St where bands played all day long. The day concluded with a concert by the Newmarket Citizens Band and fire works at George Richardson Park. The heat of the day did not deter people as they came out to celebrate being Canada for 145 years.
There were many other local community events: a parade in Aurora and a pioneer Canada Day at the Sharon Temple, a National Historic Site in Sharon, East Gwillimbury. This event was started off with ceremonial dance and song presented by the Georgian Island Reserve group. There were pioneer crafts and games, story telling, interpreters in period costume at the village buildings, weaving on a loom, butter churning; so much to do that families were busy from 11 AM to after closing time at 3 PM! The best treat of the day was a strawberry shortcake kabob with chocolate sauce! What a tasty and patriotic treat.
As I arrived home after all the festivities I was greeted by the Canada Flag waving from my porch. I felt honoured to have been able to share my love of Canada and its history with my neighbours. Also displayed was a British flag made in about 1900 and a Royal Ensign flag made about 1921 to represent the Dominion of Canada. People come to Canada in many ways and for many reasons; our flag proudly displayed represents all that is good that we celebrate on this one day and hold dear all year long.
More Newmarket Treats...
The unexpected treats in life are often the best. Today I attended the Newmarket Farmer's Market and the Ecofestival which both take place in "downtown" Newmarket along the Riverwalk Commons, Fairy Lake, and Tom Taylor Trail. Both rich in community, information, local produce and goodwill. The market always has local performers treating the community to their brand of music. Today I was swept toward the stage area when I heard the richest voice sing "I see trees of green, red roses too I see them bloom for me and you And I think to myself, what a wonderful life" Which is truly is when George St. Kitts is on stage; a stage festooned with banners to let us know about the Jazz festival coming to us in .... Expect to be there - what a treat!