Two hundred years is a special birthday and Wardsville is planning a very special party to honour its past, its founders, and its artists. Everyone is invited Friday evening to eat Crossroads sausage and hear the Dykehoppers’ big band sound. Before settling in to listen to the music under the tent and the stars, families are requested to visit the old Community Hall on Main Street to have their group photo taken.
Digital prints taken by professional photo journalist, Dave Chidley, will be printed on the spot for families to take home, while special 2.25 inch square black and white negatives taken by Lawrence Merin (Lutchin descendent) will be carefully stored away for the next 100 years in the Elgin archives. To assist future researchers and geneologists, the names of those in the photo will be written on a card placed in the photograph. Also, people are asked to bring the wedding photos of parents to include in the family portrait.
The Dykehoppers are directed by John Tentkate, who has been active in the Dutch Canadian music community since arriving in Canada as a young fellow in the early 1950s. The Dykehoppers play a mixture of Big Band, Latin type standards and semi-classical European music.
Saturday features Dave’s Cafe open stage. All musicians welcome to show up and play a set. Contact Dave’s Cafe to secure a spot in the lineup. Crossroads Cafe are cooking up a storm and the Wardsville firefighters will be polishing their brand new Rosenbauer 2010 tanker. Ken Willis, the Wardsville museum curator, will have the museum doors open. And the folks at TCCU Wardsville Credit Union will be dressed for the spirit and reminding potential patrons of the value of locally controlled banks.
Up above in the ball park, the Ward’s Station Heritage Village will feature candle and rope making, a potter, basket makers, drummers, and traders. Shaymus Gunn, the story teller, will be regaling everyone with his stories about adventures with his old military pal, George Ward. The Red Coats are sure to appear, because 1810 is only months away and the outbreak of hostilities between Britain the and new colony is imminent.
Al McGregor’s film, Battle of the Longwoods, will be shown at the Wardsville United Church. A history panel featuring Glenn Stott, Al McGregor, Doug Robinson, and Ken Willis will sort out the players and the significance of this “skirmish” which never gets much mention in the history book. Never the less, it was no small event for those that lost their lives or sustained serious bodily damage. The Upper Thames Reenactment Military Society is working on a new cairn on the battle site that will retell the battle story from both sides’ points of view.
Another Saturday program features the Twin Valley Community and School. Sixty residents are making their way back to Wardsville from all over the world for a reunion. Many lives were changed forever at this alternative educational community just outside Wardsville during the years 1971 to 1983. An inspirational, multi-media program introduced by Don Nisbet will feature the former Director, George Bullied, and many others. For those that always wondered what went on at Twin Valleys, this is your chance to find out. This reflective program will be of great interest to teachers and professionals involved with hard-to-reach youth. Twin Valleys offers a chance to look at education approaches that were successful.
Saturday evening is Mrs. Ward’s Country Chicken Dinner, a menu featuring traditional foods of 1810: corn, squash, beans soup; bannock; succotash; and other seasonal delicacies. The thirty “barn quilts” will be on display in the ball park before they are mounted on local barns and buildings. The dinner crowd will witness the installation of the Victory Barn Quilt block at the local cenotaph and pay tribute to those who died in the Battle of the Longwoods, March 4, 1814.
The Mile Long Dessert table will feature the desserts of the Women of Wardsville and Bojena Bladeck, an accomplished Pastry Chef.