John R. Park Home­stead dressed for Christ­mas

The Observer (Sarnia) - - TRAVEL - BOB BOUGHNER

Christ­mas in the Coun­try is be­ing cel­e­brated Sun­day and again Dec. 11 at the John R. Park Home­stead at 915 Es­sex County Rd. in Es­sex.

See the home­stead in all its glory Sun­day from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. A can­dle­light Christ­mas event will take place at the home­stead Tues­day from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

See the 1842 house dec­o­rated with nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als from farm and for­est. There will also be an op­por­tu­nity to craft a tra­di­tional or­na­ment, bake on the hearth and ring the sleigh bells. Cos­tumed guides will take vis­i­tors through the house and farm af­ter sun­down.

A visit to the home­stead con­ser­va­tion area will take you back in time to the mid-1800s. The house and farm build­ings of John and Amelia Park are re­stored to bring the 19th cen­tury to life. Ex­plore the Park’s mag­nif­i­cent clas­si­cal re­vival home built in 1842, taste bak­ing from the kitchen fire­place or play with a wooden toy in the chil­dren’s bed­rooms. See the work­ings of an 1885 steam en­gine pow­ered sawmill and stop by the black­smith shop to wit­ness the mak­ing of small hard­ware and re­pair­ing of farm tools at the coal-fired forge. Don’t miss the work­ing smoke house, ice­house and barn.

For a breath of fresh air, take a scenic walk on the lakeshore board­walk. Thou­sands of school chil­dren at­tend field trips to the home­stead each year for hand­son learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties about pi­o­neer life and the im­por­tance of pre­serv­ing her­itage.

Chatham-Kent Out­reach for Hunger is plan­ning a huge fundraiser in 2019 – a day at Comer­ica Park in Detroit July 21 fea­tur­ing the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays. Each ticket sold will in­clude a $3 do­na­tion to Out­reach for Hunger and Maple City Fi­nan­cial Inc. will donate $1 for each ticket sold. In ad­di­tion, each ticket holder will be au­to­mat­i­cally en­rolled in a raf­fle and the win­ner will re­ceive a prize from the Detroit Tigers.

Face­book fans can en­ter to win a Hil­ton Lake Las Ve­gas Re­sort And Spa stay­ca­tion and round of golf at Re­flec­tion Bay sim­ply by tex­ting the word SANTA to 70210.

Some very fa­mous rock leg­ends will de­scend on the firstever Rox­o­dus mu­sic fes­ti­val at the Eden­vale Aerodome at Stayner south of Colling­wood next sum­mer for three days of fun, food and rock and roll. Rockers Alice Cooper, Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd are among just a few of the names that will rock the out­door field.

Or­ga­niz­ers ex­pect about 20,000 fans to at­tend the con­cert in Clearview Town­ship.

The com­pany be­hind the event pur­chased 600 acres of land be­hind the Eden­vale air­port for the fes­ti­val.

The July 11 to 13 fes­ti­val will be­gin daily at 11 a.m. Early bird tick­ets are on sale for $299.

The Leg­ends of Mo­town are ap­pear­ing Satur­day evening at the Chatham Capi­tol The­atre. The six­piece cast of singers and mu­si­cians will per­form live look-alike trib­utes to The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temp­ta­tions, Marvin Gaye, Ste­vie Won­der, Smokey Robin­son, Jack­son 5 and Martha and the Van­del­las. Show time is 8 p.m.

A night of com­edy with Jeff Lee­son is slated for Dec. 14 at Sawmill Creek Golf Re­sort and Spa on Lakeshore Road at Cam­lachie, east of Sar­nia.

Tick­ets for Ursuline Col­lege’s “In The Heights” are now avail­able on­line. The pro­duc­tion is slated for April 10-13 at the UCC The­atre in Chatham.

The Par­lour Inn in Strat­ford is rolling out the red car­pet to the pub­lic this month with spe­cial rates start­ing from $169.

The City of Sar­nia and Tourism Sar­nia-Lambton have an­nounced the 2019 Sar­nia Tall Ships cel­e­bra­tion will part­ner with two other iconic an­nual com­mu­nity events dur­ing the Aug. 9-11 event. They are Artzs­cape by the Bay and the Blue­wa­ter Border­fest Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.

Bluenose 11 will lead the fleet of tall ships sail­ing into Sar­nia. Oth­ers in­clude the Pic­ton Cas­tle, Em­pire Sandy, De­nis Sul­li­van, Fair Jeanne and Ap­ple­dore 1V. More ships will be an­nounced in the new year.

Artzs­cape by the Bay, which at­tracted over 8,000 peo­ple last sum­mer, is a fine art and unique ar­ti­sans show and sale. Blue­wa­ter Border­fest had over 7,000 vis­i­tors dur­ing its last clas­sic rock, roll and coun­try mu­sic fes­ti­val. The 2019 event will take place in Cen­ten­nial Park.

The eighth an­nual Santa Cruise pre­sented by Mari­posa Cruises at Toronto Har­bourfront is sched­uled to leave the dock at 12 noon Sun­day for a hour long cruise aboard the North­ern Spirit. Santa’s Elves will di­rect fam­i­lies to the boat and take pic­tures with Santa.

Win­ter­fest is also com­ing to Toronto’s water­front Dec. 14 and 15 and again Dec. 21 and 22. Sharpen your skates or rent a pair and take a whirl around the Na­trel Rink at Har­bourfront Cen­tre. I took the grand­chil­dren last year and they had a great time. Young­sters can also get cre­ative with hands-on win­ter crafts in Miss Lou’s Room or dec­o­rate a gin­ger­bread cookie in Queen’s Quay Ter­mi­nal.

Toronto-based small group ad­ven­ture op­er­a­tor G Ad­ven­tures has ac­quired small group youth travel spe­cial­ist Tru Trav­els based in the United King­dom. The ac­qui­si­tion broad­ens G Ad­ven­tures reach into the youth travel sec­tor. It’s the lat­est ac­qui­si­tion by G Ad­ven­tures. The com­pany pur­chased Swan Hel­lenic and Page and Moy in 2017.

For decades, Cana­di­ans have been seek­ing refuge from the harsh Cana­dian win­ters by head­ing south to the sun belt states of Florida, Ari­zona, Cal­i­for­nia and oth­ers. Buy­ing and own­ing U.S. prop­erty for a Cana­dian res­i­dent can be con­fus­ing, stress­ful and filled with un­cer­tainty. Make sure to get le­gal ad­vice be­fore mak­ing a pur­chase. In­ter­est­ing to note that Cana­di­ans pur­chased more than 33,000 U.S. prop­er­ties in the last 12 months and over 12,000 Cana­di­ans moved to the U.S.

The 15th an­nual His­tory of the Christ­mas Tree Walk in Algonac, Mich. is in high gear and will con­tinue for the next two weeks. Algonac res­i­dents Allen and Diane Kodet have opened their log home to the pub­lic to view more than 225 dec­o­rated trees on dis­play in ev­ery room of the 9,500-square-foot home.

The trees are dec­o­rated with au­then­tic or­na­ments from the 1850s un­til the present that have been col­lected over the past 40 years.

More than 2,000 peo­ple vis­ited the home last Christ­mas sea­son.

The home is lo­cated at 8945 Marsh Rd.

The art work of eight Ja­panese Cana­di­ans en­ti­tled Be­ing Ja­panese Cana­dian: Re­flec­tions on a Bro­ken World, goes on dis­play at the Royal On­tario Mu­seum in Toronto on Feb. 2.

A bird count is slated for Dec. 29 at Canatara Park at Sar­nia and the pub­lic is urged to par­tic­i­pate. The count is geared to­wards kids.

A Coun­try Christ­mas Jam­boree is planned for Sun­day at Brig­den Fair­grounds. Doors open at noon with mu­sic start­ing at 1 p.m. A ham and scal­loped potato sup­per will be served at 5 p.m.

The 2018 Dres­den Kins­men Club Santa Claus Pa­rade is sched­uled for Satur­day be­gin­ning at 6 p.m.

The ShakeBand’s New Year’s Eve party will take place at the John Bradley Con­fer­ence Cen­tre in Chatham. Tick­ets are $75 per per­son.

A Mur­der Mys­tery Night is sched­uled for Dec. 13 at Club Lenti­nas in Chatham.

Read­ers are in­vited to sub­mit their ques­tions and sug­ges­tions on travel close to home or far away to travel writer Bob Boughner at bobg­bough­[email protected]


Lo­cated in Es­sex County, the John R. Park Home­stead will be cel­e­brat­ing Christ­mas in the Coun­try on Sun­day from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Mean­while a can­dle­light Christ­mas event will take place at the home­stead on Tues­day from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The home­stead was built in 1842 by John and Amelia Park and has been re­stored to its 19th-cen­tury ori­gins. Photo cour­tesy Tourism Wind­sor Es­sex/Pelee Is­land

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