Summer’s comings and goings in Haldimand-Norfolk

By MPP Toby Barrett

My McCormick W-4, ‘41 Dodge and ‘53 stake truck, are set for a summer of parades and shows – Dunnville’s Mudcat, the Dover and Caledonia First of July celebrations are the warm-ups.

Here are some of the happenings this summer.

Vittoria will celebrate its 220th anniversary next weekend – featuring a reception, open house, church service and brunch. For more information visit

Did you know lavender, when given as a gift, represents opportunity and promises new adventure? Each year one of my antique vehicles partakes in Norfolk’s Lavender Festival, marking the month-long harvest. Locals and day trippers can tour farms, take part in hands-on activities, enjoy live music and experience the culinary side of this historic herb.

Fisherville has some fun of its own July 7-9 at the Fisherville Lions Park. Lots of baseball, kids’ games, fish fry and a car show round out the weekend.

Giving back to the community in a fun way is the mandate of Cayuga Fest (July 15-17). Friday night everyone can enjoy great country music and a bite to eat from food vendors. Saturday gets rolling with a soapbox derby, breakfast at the firehall, followed by the parade. And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my favourite – the Grand Car Show. Don’t miss the fun, visit

The Lynn River Music and Arts Festival is a weekend of arts, crafts, antiques, food, soap box derby, car show, free live music, beer garden, bocce ball tournament and more. Head to Wellington Park in Simcoe between July 30 and August 1. To view the lineup of music visit

Also on Civic Holiday weekend, old-time farming enthusiasts can make their way to Jarvis for the Walpole Antique Farm Machinery Association’s ‘Heritage Days’. The WAFMA is located on Highway 6 south in Jarvis.

Turkey Point Summerfest began 22 years ago after a successful Bicentennial celebration. There is never a lack of volunteers or enthusiasm for the five-day festival (Aug.3-7). Highlights include Texas sausage on a bun,  movie night, pork and beef barbecue, pet show, silent auction, bed races and, of course, the Show and Shine Car Show wrapping things up Sunday.

August 12, Waterford celebrates its Black Bridge Centennial. Tickets are being sold for Dinner on the Bridge with entertainment by Ian Bell & Friends as well as Fred Eaglesmith. Saturday afternoon is the ribbon cutting and fireworks. Visit for a special presentation of “The Black Bridge Song” written and performed by Waterford’s Michael Hogg.

The third weekend in August (Aug. 20-21) is always a bustle in Port Dover for Summer Festival, aka Art in the Park. For over 40 years, arts and crafts and antiques fill Powell Park. If history is more your thing, make your way west of Cayuga for the second Annual American Civil War Re-enactment. Details at

Long Point Country Bayfest is Sept. 2-4. For more than 30 years Port Rowan has been hosting its annual Labour Day weekend with an incredible parade Sunday at 2 p.m. Fireworks, midway rides, entertainment, a soap box derby and much more help close the summer.

I wish you all a safe and happy summer. And once summer’s over, the fall festivals and parades begin! Stay tuned for the highlights in a future column.