"Meaford's Scarecrow Invasion takes place in mid-September to mid-October"
by Judi "Scoop" McWilliams
“New acquaintances, new friendships, new communities, new adventures!”
While we were familiar with some of the venues and communities we visited, many were brand new to us this Past Summer Season.
After many years of writing about, interviewing and talking with “Volunteers” and “Organizers” of the great festivals, events, and actives across the Province, this year proved to be an overwhelming exceptional experience.
It seemed everywhere we traveled, we felt not just “welcomed”, but “at home”! In the City of Port Colborne, for example, the organizers and volunteers went out of their way to accommodate Gary and me. A quick “golf cart drive” to the amazing Canal Marine Heritage Days venue to watch the “Kite Flying” demonstrations and activities and then to a refreshing break at City Hall to “recharge our batteries” (both electronic and ourselves)!
It wasn’t just the organizers and volunteers in Port Colborne, but the residents who waved and welcomed us as we strolled the streets. #PORTicipate really does exist in the City of Port Colborne!
At the Lang Pioneer Village Museums “Dominion Day” Celebrations, it was “just like home” with warm welcomes from our friends and long-time acquaintances. Most refreshing were the families who played our “Oh Canada Eh! Game”! It was great to see families “get excited about Canadian and local History”!
While visiting the Buckhorn Fine Art Festival at the Buckhorn Community Centre, volunteers really went out of their way to make us feel welcome. The most interesting stories were shared in the “volunteer rest station”. The “history” and long-time generations of the Volunteers in Buckhorn truly evokes its fabulous “community spirit”.
At ARTZscape by the Bay in Sarnia, the entire community welcomed us. From the moment we “parked our car”, to the amazing impromptu interview (stay tuned to THE INSIDE SCOOP for upcoming YouTube Video article) with Pathways Health Centre for Children Executive Directory, Jenny Greensmith, to the Waterscape Scenic Boat Tour with volunteer and organizer Sandi Grimshaw’s husband and team member Bob and their Sarnia Marina friends, Bob and Heather. The generosity of this experience did not end after our amazing Boat ride …we were also treated to dinner in-the-park at the Volunteer & Artist Appreciation Dinner. Here we mingled with artists and artisans and enjoyed a great “home cooked” meal.
Many of the “warm welcomes” came from the Residents and Merchants of the communities we visited. It was an extremely refreshing experience!
These are just a few of the many extraordinary “encounters” we experienced across the Province this summer. We felt privileged to hear their “stories”, share the Volunteers’ “experiences” and now share this with you, our Visitors.
Fall is another time to share, experience, discover and explore! We hope to see you out there!
"On the left, I am standing with Michelle Cuthbert and Port Colborne Mayor, John Maloney and on the right photo, I am with Jenny Greensmith and Tracy Drysdale."
In 2007 Judi and I began our journey, visiting communities and their events, across Ontario. To date we have visited 100’s of communities, festivals, events, fairs, attractions, museums and “living history” pioneer villages. Our “adventures” are exclusive to Ontario Visited websites. As a result of these “visits”, we have been able to post articles, photos and videos on our Ontario Visited websites. These allow “Visitors” to our websites a unique opportunity to learn more about communities and events they are interested in visiting. Visiting and writing about Ontario communities and their events was just the first unique feature of our websites. Since that first year and the nine that have followed, we have tried to provide more innovated ideas for our web visitors. Here are some of the special features we have created ~
- Ontario Event News
- Oh Canada Eh! Game
- Ontario Visited websites (Festivals, Fairs, Communities, Heritage, Attractions, War of 1812 Celebrations)
- Video Adventures
- Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, Instagram)
- Ontario Visited INSIDER e-Newsletter
- The Inside Scoop Blog
- Ontario Event Directory
We have been enjoyed sharing our “adventures” with you and look forward to posting many more! We are very proud to be able to offer our unique "Visitor Experiences" to the “hundreds of thousand of festival and event visitors” who have discovered us each year. We hope that you and your family and friends “Catch the Buzz” (#CatchTheBuzz)... PASS IT ON!
“Bury All Your Horses…”
When I was a kid, traveling distances with my family, we use to play all sorts of games to pass time. These days the kids play with video games, watch DVD’s or listen to their iPod, but back in my day we only had each other for entertainment! My Mom and Dad had a number of games they used to use to keep us occupied and make the journey seem shorter! Some of the games we played included: “I spy with my little eye something that begins with…”, “I packed my bag and in it I put…” and “Name that tune…”. Perhaps my favourite was “Bury all your horses…”. This is a game where you find and count all the horses you see on your side of the car. The object is to see who has counted the most horses at the end of the game! One catch! If a cemetery is passed on your side and the other players see it and call out “Bury all your horses!!” you lose the count and have to start all over again. A tricky game, but a lot of fun. Judi and I play variation where you can only lose 10 horses at a time! Speaking of Judi and games, she tells me that when she and her sisters where kids they use to play board games to reduce the monotony of long drives. One game in particular that they use to play was “Clue”. It seems incredible that Judi was able to win (or lose) at will!! I told how great that was until she told me that she use to mark the Clue cards and knew right from the start of the game who the murderer was, what room and with what weapon!! I don’t think her sisters or parents knew until later in life! With all the long distances we drive today, we still use games to pass the time! However, I refuse to play, with Judi, anything involving cards!
Recently my daughter and granddaughter visited us in the Blue Mountains. While they were here we decided to take a drive in the country. As the drive progressed, my daughter and granddaughter decided to “teach” us a new “car driving” game! What a mistake! I’ll tell you why shortly. The object of the game is to spot specific types of cars and then yell out something about them. Here are some examples… If you spot a “Jeep”, you’ve got to call our “JEEP…JEEP”. If you spot a “Yellow” car, you yell out “YELLOW-BELLY”. For “VW Beetles”, it’s something like “BEACH BUGGIES”. There’s more, but I think you get the picture. So here’s the BAD part! Now, every time Judi and I go for a drive (and it’s lot), the game begins with “GAME ON”! I don’t mind playing, but Judi is VERY competitive and likes to make up new “RULES” as we go along. Believe me, it can become very confusing! Judi probably won’t agree, but right now I think we are about even about with the spottings!!
It’s no longer “Bury all your horse, but… GAME ON!”
"Horses are more FUN!"