10 Things To Do in April in Prince Edward County (from home) 🛍️
If absence makes the heart grow fonder, it should be a lovefest-extraordinaire when things get back to normal in Prince Edward County!
In the meantime, there are plenty of ways to show PEC some love by having The County’s bounty shipped right to the socially distant safety of your front door. Here are but a few …
Article by George Amaro
1. Face(book) the music: Stream your fave County artists.
Live music is such an integral part of The County vibe, but you don’t have to miss out just because you can’t physically be here right now. Many of the artists you’re used to seeing are streaming impromptu live shows on social media, including Instant Rivalry, Benni Vander, Miss Emily and many more.
The Waring House is showcasing several crowd favourites on its Facebook site, such as Greg Wyard, Mark Despault and Robert Keyes. They’ve even launched online trivia.
Check the artist’s individual Facebook, Instagram and web pages for upcoming streaming shows, or to see past performances.
99.3 County FM
Of course, you can always stream PEC’s beloved radio station at 993countyfm.ca … “the voice of The County.”
2. Be a part of (online) art: Check out PEC artists.
Along the same lines of streaming music, many artists are showcasing their work on their social media pages and websites. Now’s a great time to check out all the amazing artistic County talent – and even buy some beautiful, original art.
Carbon Art & Design
Once you’re done taking in Jason’s extraordinary works, head over to the Oeno Gallery for a virtual lunch with one of their artists. The gallery is hosting a series of interactive online conversations through April that will give you a glimpse into that artist’s world, their work – and maybe even their studio. There are only 20 seats, so grab your space early! Full details are at Oeno Gallery, but here are some upcoming artist lunches. All start at noon.
Friday, April 3 – Deborah Samuel
Tuesday, April 7 – Adam Cohen
Friday, April 10 – Shayne Dark
Tuesday, April 14 – Alice Teichert
Friday, April 17 – Milly Ristvedt
Learn more about the vibrant arts community with the Prince Edward County Arts Council.
3. Practise (isolation) hydration: Order PEC beverages.
If you’re craving some isolation companions, most of The County’s wineries, breweries, cideries and lone distillery will deliver the goods – and quench your thirst. Check their social media channels and websites for available products, details, order minimums and to confirm shipping locations and fees. Many are offering free shipping or personal delivery.
4. Book some time (alone): Order PEC books.
Now is a great time to catch up on your reading, whether it’s dusting off that mystery you’ve always wanted to dive into, or perhaps brushing up on some County history.
You can order books about The County from The County Magazine, including some favourites from local author Steve Campbell: Prince Edward County, An Illustrated History, and The County Handbook, a “wicked and witty primer to life in Prince Edward County, enjoyed equally by County newcomers and oldtimers.”
You can also find books that feature The County at Invisible Publishing, a local, small producer of contemporary Canadian fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry. The Picton-based, not-for-profit publisher’s cool lineup includes Don’t Honk Twice, an anthology of County short stories. And you can pre-order your copy of County Heirlooms, Signature recipes and stories from Prince Edward County which is edited and photographed by local entrepreneur, Natalie Wollenberg. It’s due out at the end of June.
Books & Company
This fantastic Picton bookstore is another great place to find a variety of County-based literature and ephemera – shipped directly to your sanitized sanctuary. Look for local authors like Janet Kellough, Vicky Delaney, or Shani Mootoo, whose latest, Polar Vortex, came out last month. And, Books & Company also has tons of puzzles to occupy your mind and time.
5. Slip into something a little more (County): Order PEC gear.
The County T-shirts 2020 collection shows some love for Carrying Place, County diving (it’s a thing!) and the usual favourites featuring Bike PEC and Agri + Culture. PEC T-shirt Company has also added a COVID-19 “flatten the curve” T-shirt, with $5 from every sale going to “support vulnerable people impacted by the virus.” Of course, while you’re on the website, check out all the other awesome PEC-centric gear.
Shed Chetwyn Farms
This local farm has a gorgeous selection of distinctive, high-quality alpaca fleece and yarn. Shed has everything from stuffed toys and booties for the wee ones to pillows and throws for the home to nesting fleece for the birds!
6. Get cheesy, honey! Order PEC-made products.
While most restaurants have switched over to take-out, a few of The County’s foodie-type establishments are ready to ship their yummies directly to your quarantine scene.
There’s definitely no social distancing in a bee hive, and that’s great news for lovers of PEC honey. You can order your sweetness from local producers such as Prince Edward County Honey Company and Honey Pie Hives & Herbals.
Maple in the County was the first large-scale event to be cancelled because of coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get your fix of our sweet, delicious PEC nectar shipped directly to your home. Producers such as Walt’s Sugar Shack and Vader’s Maple Syrup will ship their delicious syrup and maple butter anywhere – and even deliver if your order is large enough – or close enough. Visit individual websites for information.
Holy cow, goat and water buffalo, these cheeses are good! You can pretty much order any of Fifth Town’s award-winning fromages individually, including Truffalo, Buffalina, Cape Vessy and Lemon Fetish, or get all of the aforementioned quartet in their cheese-care package, which also includes local salami and raw Fifth Town estate honey.
7. Wash your hands (again): Order PEC-crafted soaps.
Everywhere you turn these days, somebody is telling you, advising you, begging you, ordering you to wash your hands! Again. And again. And again!
Luckily, The County has a number of amazing makers of quality soaps that will not only wash away those pesky germs, but leave your hands smelling fresh and clean. Check out the great soap products at Prince Edward County Lavender Farm, Millefleurs Lavender & Honey Farm, and Honey Pie Hives & Herbals. Gentle, hand-made soaps can also be ordered from Savon du Bois. And while you’re on their sites, add some of their other fantastic products into your cart – they’ll appreciate the support.
8. Show someone some (safe) love: Order gift certificates from PEC businesses.
While it seems like COVID-19 has put the world on pause, nature and time are still doing their thing. Animals are blissfully unaware, happily grazing on all the fresh greens that spring brings. Birthdays and anniversaries happen daily. Babies are being born. So, to maintain some sense of normalcy, we must still celebrate all those special occasions – virtually, of course.
Make someone’s special day by sending them a gift certificate from one of the County businesses newly listed on SupportLocalPEC.ca, or have one of the aforementioned products shipped directly to their door. We guarantee it will put a huge smile on their face!
And when the time is right to visit The County, they’ll use that gift certificate and thank you all over again.
9. Reminisce about (viral-free) days gone by: Check out PEC history.
Ever wonder why we call it the Loyalist Parkway? What the barley days were? Or, how that lake really got up on the mountain?
Brush up on your County history by following The County Museums on Facebook and Instagram – be sure to catch their daily ‘museum mind bender’ for insightful trivia and fun facts. (Did you know The County has had two exotic animal establishments?)
Prefer to binge-watch your history lessons? Grab the popcorn, settle in and get ready to be schooled by Peter Lockyer and his History Lives Here videos. The History Moments series packs nuggets of local information into 2-5 minute videos on topics ranging from local geography, industry, families, buildings and Indigenous People.
10. Enjoy our home (from your home): Keep tabs on what’s going on in PEC.
The County is like a swan on the water… everything seems calm up above, but down below, it’s paddling like crazy.
So, while businesses are shuttered, or mitigating their services, there’s still plenty going on. Farmers are farming, brewers are brewing, winemakers are making wine, and just about everyone is planning for life after COVID-19.
Keeping tabs on your fave county businesses is therapeutic and a great way to spend some time. The Department of Illumination, host of Ice Box PEC and the Firelight Lantern Festival, is even starting a newsletter to let subscribes know what they’re planning. Check out individual social media sites frequently as things are changing minute-by-minute, literally.
We can’t wait to see you – hopefully soon. Until then, like the song from The Police says, “don’t stand so close to me.”