Fall in Love with The County🍂
Written by: George Amaro
Autumn in The County, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Fall in the County is for lovers. Lovers of everything from art to festivals to wine. Don’t believe us? Read it and love it!
FALL DRIVE Lovers
Fall in The County is hands down its prettiest season. The trees are ablaze in fiery shades of orange, yellow, red, brown and gold. The fields of corn, soy and grapes are lush with their bounty. The air is fresh, clean and crisp. And, autumn’s special light bathes everything in a warm golden hue, making the fall colours, landscapes and people’s moods glow from within.
Grab your camera, pack up the clan in the family vehicle and take it all in while cruising The County’s idyllic country roads. And don’t forget to pit stop at the local farm stands and wineries/breweries/cideries and restaurants for some hearty people fuel!
LESS TOURISTS Lovers
If you’d prefer to experience The County at a slower, roomier pace, fall is the perfect time. The tourists have thinned out, especially during the week, so you’ve basically got the place to yourself … well, almost ; )
If it’s a festival you’re looking for, The County has several pretty awesome and cool themed events. TASTE community grown (September 28) has become one of PEC’s best known events. It boasts over 50 local vendors featuring everything from wine and beer to food and fun. Tickets $20 online or $25 at the door. The sweetest of events, the Ontario Honey Festival (October 12), takes place at the Crystal Palace. It’s the first-ever, so grab a ticket and join history in the making! Tickets $10 at the door, or online at Eventbrite.
Pumpkinfest (October 19) is a family-fun celebration of, yep, everything pumpkin! Wellington goes full orange on the 19th with a parade and a giant pumpkin weigh-in. Our beloved local radio station is turning five, and to commemorate the occasion, they’re hosting the County FM Harvest Celebration (October 19) in partnership with The CAPE. It’s billed as “an event of fine dining and top notch entertainment.” Tickets $99.30 plus service charge if ordering via BrownPaperTickets. Haunting in the Hamlet (October 16) is billed as “a day-long celebration of all things creepy in Consecon!” Ooooh, scarrrrry!
The very unique Firelight Lantern Festival (November 9) starts with lantern-making workshops around The County, and culminates in a glowing, night-time parade and brilliant celebration at the Crystal Palace!
Wassail (November 16-17, 23-24, November 30-December 1) is where the community comes together to celebrate the harvest – before old-man winter raps on our door. It’s a fun, festive event full of good times and good cheer! It takes place over the last three weekends of November at various wineries – stay tuned for bus tickets!
LOVE TO GIVE Lovers
If giving is in your heart – and we know it’s alive and thriving in PEC, there are plenty of amazing events that support some very worthwhile charities and organizations. An Evening Under the Stars (October 2), a fundraiser for Food to Share at the Crystal Palace, a volunteer-driven organization that helps address food insecurity in Prince Edward County. Enjoy local wine/beer, a meal prepared by Chef Jamie Kennedy, live music and a silent auction. Tickets $100. Email Susan Wallis at email@example.com. The HUB Child and Family Centre presents Prince Edward County Chef Competition (October 5) at The CAPE to support the expansion of the HUB at 10 McFarland Court. Cheer on your favourite chefs in this fun competition. Tickets $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Contact The HUB 613-476-8142 for ticket locations.
PEPtBO’s Annual Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction (November 2) takes place at The View Restaurant. Enjoy guest presenter Stephen Lougheed, Director of Queen’s University Biological Station, and music by Rita de Ghent. Tickets $85 available online at PEPtBO.
FARM STAND Lovers
A PEC road-side farm stand is a thing of beauty at this time of year … and, there are so many of them! You can’t just stop at one, or two, or three … or twenty! Check out the bounty of The County on our farmstand blog here.
Plus you can PYO (pick-your-own), including fall faves, pumpkins and apples at Campbell’s Orchards. While you’re there, check out their corn maze and hay wagon rides. And for the big kids, try the delicious beverages at Apple Falls Cider Co.
Get your fill of local markets before they close for the season. October 12 is the last Saturday for the Wellington Farmer’s Market. The 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. market, located in the parking lot of the United Church in Wellington, offers wares from over 65 vendors. The Local Store is a wonderful one-stop-shop to explore the work of over 120 local artists and over 30 food producers. The two-storey barn finishes up its season with a Christmas Market & Sale (November 1-3).
Another newbie this year is the County Wellness Collective Show + Market, which takes place on November 2. It’s all about wholesome goodness, featuring local health and wellness practitioners, workshops, demonstrations and products.
WINE HARVEST Lovers
Thinking you might like to own a winery someday? PEC’s grape-picking parties are your chance to test the dream out from the ground up. Check out 2019’s list of interactive harvesting events where you can get your hands (or feet) dirty here. Participating wineries include: Sugarbush Vineyards, The Grange of Prince Edward Vineyard & Estate Winery, Stanners Vineyards, Sandbanks Estate Winery, Trail Estate Winery, and By Chadsey’s Cairns Winery & Vineyard. And if you’d just rather partake of the harvest, there’s always the Harvest Moon Dinner at Karlo Estates.
Restaurant menus shine with the bounty of the season. Countylicious offers a chance to try a three-course dinner at any of the 11 participating restaurants, and/or (new this year!) lunch with prix fixe menus at 6 participating locations. The promotion runs from November 1-24 – be sure to book ahead!
QUIET BEACH Lovers
The crowds are gone. The sun is high, and the temperatures still conducive to beach relaxing with a good book, wading along the shoreline, or trekking up and down the dunes at Sandbanks Provincial Park.
If you’re a water sports enthusiast, suit up and hit the waves. Water temps may be cool, but the air and wind flow on Sandbank’s Provincial Park’s West Lake is excellent for fall kite-surfing and paddle boarding.
PEC boasts several great conservation parks. Whether they’re inland or by the water, each offers its own signature beauty. Check them out, including Little Bluff Conservation Area, with its evergreen forest and wonderful water-smoothed stone beach.
If you’re a fan of our feathered friends, then this is the time of year for you! The Fall Birding Festival is in full swing at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, with daily bird banding – including saw-whet owls starting in October – and guided workshops and walks continuing until the end of October.
The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of The County! Amateur astronomer and photographer, Ramesh Pooran, is your guide for several stargazing events. Under the Night Sky takes place September 27 at the Wellington Heritage Museum, while Chart the Dark Sky: What’s Up at Night! is hosted in conjunction with night-sky enthusiast James Rose, and will be held at the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory on October 4 (rain or cloud date: Oct. 5), and October 18 (rain or cloud date: Oct. 19).
From painters and glass blowers to metal forgers and fibre artists, The County is home to some great talent. Art is an all-year-round subject in PEC, but there are a few events worth noting this fall. The Picton Art Crawl happens on September 26, and a day later, you can check out An Exhibit of Tiny Art. Arts on Main Gallery’s Fall Show is on until November 18, and the ever-popular The Maker’s Hand takes centre-stage November 1-3.
If you prefer a more-hands on approach, fall art workshops are in full swing at the Baxter Arts Centre, or you can try dyeing (October 5), weaving (October 19), or, bookbinding (November 2). The Andrew Csafordi Studio Gallery offers a series of two-day encaustic painting workshops on October 5-6, October 27-28, and November 2-3.
MUSIC & THEATRE Lovers
Shatterbox Theatre presents Red by John Logan, winner of 6 Tony Awards, at the historic Regent Theatre, September 27-30. Blood Relations is a psychological murder mystery based on the life of Lizzie Borden and the murders of her father and stepmother – it hits the Mt. Tabor Playhouse October 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27. And on November 8 and 9, the Hollywood North Film Festival is the feature attraction at the Regent Theatre. The non-profit, international film festival showcases the best in independent feature, short, animated and experimental films from across the world.
The County is always hopping with live music at such regular haunts as the Barley Room Pub, The Acoustic Grill and The County Canteen. Check their schedules for who’s playing when. Guh … no, that’s not a typo, that’s what they’re called, is another act to put on your music radar this fall. They’re quite unique and almost defy description, and if you’ve never seen them, you’re in for a treat. They’ll be on stage at the Athol Recreation Centre on October 5 with guests MOOTHOR.
If you’re a shutterbug, this is a fantastic time to shoot The County. Why? See all of the above!