10 Things to Do in Prince Edward County in November 🏮 🍲 🍷
November in The County is all about getting into the holiday spirit. We consider the month to be pretty much non-stop pre-gaming for the main event, so the next four weeks will be full of sparkly, shiny moments – and the occasional glimpse of a jolly man in a red suit. And of course, it’s all designed to be paired with the best of holiday cheer.
Take a bite
On Nov. 1, get fired up at 100 Acre Wood during the Fiesta del Fuego, featuring Spanish wines and fire-cooked meals by chefs from Flame + Smith, The Courage, Seedlings and the soon-to-be-opened Stella’s. An event in support of Alternatives for Women, the dinner promises to add a little heat to the start of the winter season.
From Nov. 2-25, feast on the best of the harvest, with three-course Fall Countylicious menus featured at 14 restaurants across The County. There are some fall favourites – think squash, pumpkins and delectable apple desserts – plus some unexpected surprises like rarebit, wild boar, duck and ash pasta. Take an insider’s peek at the menus here.
Celebrate a Century
The Regent Theatre opened on Nov. 2, 1918 with the promise of a “good orchestra” and music has remained an integral art of the Regent’s history and legacy. The Theatre’s second century kicks off with a celebration of artists with deep roots in Prince Edward County. Miss Emily headlines the concert, featuring folklorist Suzanne Pasternak, multi-instrumentalist Ben Vandergaast, country crooners Instant Rivalry and pop diva – and wunderkind – Siobhan Bodrug.
Bags, baubles, glassware, ceramics and more abound at the Maker’s Hand, on Nov. 2-4, an early chance to pick up a one-of-a-kind gift for the holiday season. Find a curated selection of high quality, handcrafted artisan items. Or drop in at the Handmade Christmas Sale, now at the Essroc Arena in Wellington on Nov. 10, for more handmade works sold by the artisans themselves.
Riff on it
Taste That! takes their improv performances in a new direction with the November edition of their First Friday performance. “Tomorrow’s Special Today,” on Nov. 2, introduces a new talk show format, featuring special guests Toronto’s Duo Dad, and a musical guest called Reggie. Wish we could say more about it, but, you know, it’s improv. No one knows what’s gonna happen!
Queasy on Climate Change
Sea Sick, journalist Alanna Mitchell’s critically acclaimed and Dora-nominated production about the state of the global ocean, comes to The Regent Theatre on Nov. 9. The production uses Mitchell’s science and her own delicate wit to share her journey to the bottom of the ocean, the demons she discovered there, and her hope for the future. Mitchell is an award-winning Canadian journalist and author who has written for the New York Times, CBC’s Quirks & Quarks, Globe and Mail and more. Sea Sick is inspired by her international bestseller and award-winning book of the same name.
See the Light
Friends, as Jon Snow says: winter is coming. That means dark days ahead. Literally days in which we get dressed in the dark, spend the entire day inside and watch the sun’s weak rays dip below the horizon around the time the Early Bird Special gets served. So take our advice: get thee to the Firelight Lantern Festival on Nov. 10, a parade of handmade lanterns that float along Main Street Picton, culminating in a magical concert at the Crystal Palace. This year, the hard-to-categorize but high energy Guh takes the stage and revelers will boogie down surrounded by all those beautiful lanterns.
Watch for the lanterns to make a return a week later, on Nov. 16, during Wellington Sparkles, when the town gets overrun by Whos – of Dr. Seuss’s Whoville fame – for the lighting of the town tree and the beginning of Wassail.
Or join the entire village of Bloomfield on Nov. 23 at their unique night-time parade, Bloomfield Festival of Lights, which lights up the streets with floats, displays, song and laughter. Chili and hot chocolate will be served at the Town Hall starting at 4pm. Lights go on at 6pm and parade gets underway at 6:30pm.
At its purest, Wassail is a salutation of good health. And really, it’s about seeing neighbours and sharing in good fortune.
From Dec. 17, Macaulay House will be decorated for Wassail and a beautifully candlelit 1850s Christmas, with tasty heritage recipes to sample at the hearth, entertainment in the parlour and costumed characters to greet you!
Wassail is also a drinking ritual designed to toast a good harvest and call for a similarly healthy crop in the new year. In medieval times, Wassail featured mead, or sometimes mulled wine. Or, according to Wikipedia, a kind of swamp water that involved mulled cider, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, topped with slices of toast. (Involuntary gag.) It’s since evolved to a base of wine, fruit juice or mulled ale, sometimes with brandy or sherry added.
Wassail in The County is a great excuse to fill up a glass and toast to the coming year. On weekends from Nov. 17 to Dec. 2, The County’s wineries will gladly fill up your Wassail bowl and receive your good cheer.
Prepare for that guy in the red suit
Ease into the holiday season with the Festival of Trees, a silent auction of nearly 200 decorated Christmas trees, plus a bucket draw, Christmas boutique, entertainment, visits from Santa, bake and preserves sale, at Isaiah Tubbs resort from Nov. 23-25. Sponsored by the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, all proceeds from the event go to supporting healthcare in the community.
On November 25, Santa Claus takes a break from supervising gift production and visits Picton’s Santa Claus parade. He’ll cruise down the main drag
The traditional Christmas Snow White Panto opens at the Mount Tabor theatre on November 29 – panto being theatre speak for “over the top performances given in drag-queen level make-up. An English Christmas ritual, pantomime is the retelling of fairy tales, filled with child-level humour, sight gags and tons of physical humour. Dressing up is part of the experience, so pull out your Prince Charming pants and get in on the fun.
Put a ring on it
A ring of green, that is. By now you’ve probably noticed that your house is not quite as into the Christmas spirit as you are. Sort that out at Coriander Girl’s Winter Wreath Workshop. All materials will be provided to design a festive and unique wreath. Expect fragrant winter greens, berries, cotton, and lots of other interesting bits and pieces.
A wounded soldier is visited in hospital by a 12-year-old Pathfinder in a wheelchair, a girl who is looking to earn a community service badge by reading to the young man. Coincidentally, both are named Armstrong. Armstrong’s War was written by Governor General award winner Colleen Murphy. It chronicles six weeks and six visits, following as the soldier heals, yet deeper wounds are revealed. In the words of the Globe & Mail: “The play becomes less about Canada’s mission in Afghanistan and more about the narratives we all tell ourselves about survival and the value of life.”
November is the month to remember our veterans. This production is a fundraiser for The Regent Theatre, which is celebrating its 100th Anniversary.
Give a gift of The County. Go on, we’ll make more! We’ve got wine, beer, cider, spirits and mead, of course. But you can also find unique and exquisite goods on the Arts Trail, or stop along any of the main street storefronts for artisanal County-made goods. Poke around and take home a little piece of County paradise.