Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Role in the Hay…

I had never really thought about it before, but festivals and hay ride and wagons were made for each other! Of the 100’s of festivals we have visited, over 15 have had some sort of wagon transportation. Festivals used them for a variety of different reasons, shuttle service, and entertainment, sight-seeing and general transportation. Different modes of locomotion are used, horse power, tractors and trucks. All have one thing in common, fun! Perhaps the wagon takes us back to our roots, to gentler times, where transport was slow but the scenery was beautiful and the smells were intoxicating.  I am sure you all have your own memories of “Hay Rides Past”, but I thought I would tell you some of our Hay Ride Adventures.

Our first hay ride adventure was during our first Ontario Festivals Visited event, the Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival. After visiting the first maple sugar farm on the tour, we were transported to the next farm on one of two horse drawn hay wagons being used for that purpose. The air was crisp, so the mist from the horses’ nostrils was visible. Although the trip was not very long, the joy of the open aired wagon ride was evident on the faces of our fellow travelers!

The tractor pulled wagon ride at the International Plowing Match took us from the parking lot to the festival grounds. The ground was very uneven and we were all standing up, weaving back and forth and holding on the wagon’s bars for dear life. I felt like a prisoner being transported to the gallows!

The wagon ride at the Bala Cranberry Festival was much gentler. A tractor pulled two covered wagons around the ground of the cranberry marsh. As we traveled through the marsh, the tractor driver pointed out areas of interest.

The Waterford Pumpkinfest wagon ride transported visitors from one festival venue to another. The wagon ride carried us through the Town of Waterford, giving us a wonderful opportunity to discover the charms of this beautiful little town!

At the Lang Pioneer Village’sChristmas by Candlelight” I was able to watch my grandson climb onto the horse drawn wagon that was going to take them around the villages square. They all sang Christmas carols along the way!

In Brighton, at the Brighton Winterfest, horse drawn wagons crossed the ice covered bay to take visitors to the “Tyke Pond” Hockey Tournament.

The horse drawn wagon ride at the Bruce’s Mill “Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival” took us into the heart of their Sugarbush. On the ride back a father and his baby quietly slept to the rhythm of the turning wheels!

And finally, on our latest tractor pulled wagon ride at one of the Maple in the County Sugarbush participants, we traveled down a long lane from the parking area to the Sugarbush and Pancake Breakfast. During the trip the temperature was below zero and there was a chilling breeze. I think the attitude of the passenger next to me summarized all of our wagon adventures. Her comment to me as she first sat down was “It’s great to have this many people so close, we will all keep warm.” and as we moved along, we all chatted comfortably as old friends.
"Wagon ride at the Buckhorn Maplefest"

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