On Sunday, September 11, the sound of steel-shod horse hooves will be heard again on the streets of Dunvegan, as the popular Horse Parade returns to the Glengarry Pioneer Museum’s 22nd Harvest Fall Festival.

One of the largest equestrian events of its kind in Eastern Ontario, the procession gets underway at 1 p.m., with the Quigley Highlanders Pipes and Drums leading a long cavalcade of horsemen and horsewomen – together with horse-drawn buggies, wagons and carts.

“This celebration of the importance of horsepower to the 19th and early 20th century farming community is always a real crowd pleaser,” remarked Clay MacWhirter, chair of the festival’s organizing committee. “We’re so glad it’s a part of this year’s fall festival.”

Rain or shine, the Glengarry Pioneer Museum’s annual Harvest Fall Festival is always a delight for young and old alike. It’s a chance to experience how Glengarry’s early settlers lived and worked. Some of the day’s highlights include:

  • Pioneer life demonstrations such as hand churning butter, quilt and rug making, animal husbandry, wool spinning and more.
  • Bygone farm machines, such as a threshing mill, a horse-sweep powered saw and a mechanical cedar shingle maker, all brought back to life.
  • Local artisans explaining their crafts and selling their wares.
  • Musical entertainment tent featuring everything from Swiss Horns to Bluegrass and special guest: Jim Graham.
  • Supervised children’s tent with crafts and activities for children.
  • Refreshment tent with hot food, cold drinks and country-sized slices of homemade pie.
  • Star Inn bar and beer garden.

The festival also boasts an impressive Harvest Sale fundraising tent, with tables groaning under the weight of homemade bread, pies, squares and other baked goods, jams, jellies, preserves, fresh fruit, vegetables, plants and more – all available for purchase. This tent also hosts the annual SuperZuke contest. People are invited to dress up a zucchini as their favourite super hero and drop off their entry before the 2 p.m. judging.

Another activity that’s returning is the ‘Cow Pie 50/50 Raffle’. In fact, it was so popular last year that two draws will be held: one around noon and the other after the Horse Parade. The way the Cow Pie raffle works is that a cow is turned loose on a grid with 225 numbered squares and whichever one she deposits a cow pie on is the winner. While raffle tickets will probably be available at the festival, people are encouraged to purchase them online at www.glengarrypioneermuseum.ca.

The cost of admission to the festival is $10 per person ($5 for museum members and students aged 6 to 18 years) and the family rate is $25. Children five and under are free. Cash, debit and credit cards are accepted at the entrance gates.

The Glengarry Pioneer Museum is located in Dunvegan, Ontario at the intersection of County Road 24 (Dunvegan Road) and County Road 30 (Greenfield Road). Parking is available on the road, or nearby in the Kenyon Presbyterian Church parking lot. Accessible parking is also available.

‘Jabrea’, owned by Bernie St. Denis and Laurie Bartlett, was the star of the show at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum’s 2021 Harvest Festival. Jabrea dropped her cow pie onto square #47, purchased by Elodie Leduc of St-Isidore. Submitted photo