Celebrate Harvest with the John R. Park Homestead

Friday, October 4, 2019

people petting horses harnessed to a carriage

Essex –  As the trees change colour and their leaves crunch underfoot, there’s no better way to celebrate autumn in Essex County than with an outdoor celebration of the bountiful harvest. The John R. Park Homestead will welcome visitors on Sunday, October 20th to experience an old-fashioned fall celebration on the farm at the Harvest & Horses Festival.

From Noon until 4pm, the Homestead will host this popular fall festival, which combines all the elements of an old-fashioned fall harvest with the exciting opportunity to meet all varieties of horses, big and small!

The event is presented in partnership with the Essex County Carriage Club and independent horse owners who volunteer to bring their impressive equines to the show. The Festival’s main event, the Parade of Breeds, will feature a variety of pedigrees – from ponies and miniature horses to the largest draft breeds, each demonstrating their own special skills in the ring.

“Given the integral role horses played in farming well into the 1900s, they are a natural fit for the harvest event,” explained John R. Park Homestead Curator Kris Ives.

“What sets this event apart is the chance for visitors to get up close to meet the horses and their owners, and to see these incredible working animals in action,” said Ives. “The parade, which starts at 1:30pm sharp, will be a great opportunity to learn about what makes each of these breeds special.”

If that’s not enough horsing around, kids can also enjoy pony rides provided by Sarah Parks Horsemanship, and a chance to climb into a pumpkin carriage – an experience straight from the storybooks! Those interested in local agricultural history will be thrilled to watch a horse drawn equipment in action, as well as a display of pioneer-era harvest tools.

The event also offers visitors the chance to participate in traditional pioneer harvest and agricultural activities including cider pressing, apple drying, corn husk craft making, and more. “The Homestead is grateful for the support of Libro Credit Union – Kingsville Branch, who are sponsoring the hands-on agricultural activities for children this year,” says Ives.  Families are also invited to watch a blacksmithing demonstration or listen to scary stories in the attic of the 1842 house. Visitors can enjoy all of this while listening to the old-timey fiddle tunes of local band Mike Houston and the Woodchoppers.

Hot lunch items, delicious snacks, and tasty beverages will be available for purchase during the festival at the local Bean’s Ladle food truck.

Event admission is $6/adult, $4/child, with a $20 family maximum. Guests are welcome to bring their own lawn chair for a seat during the parade of breeds, but please note that no dogs are allowed at this event. Service animals, as always, are welcome with supporting documentation.

Harvest celebrations continue throughout the month of October with the John R. Park After Dark event on Friday, October 25th at 7pm. The event is by pre-registration only and tickets are limited. Register online at https://jrphafterdark.eventbrite.ca

The Homestead is located at 915 County Road 50, at the corner of Iler Road, on the shore of Lake Erie.  For more information and a detailed event schedule, call 519-738-2029 or visit the website at: https://essexregionconservation.ca

Since 1973, Essex Region Conservation has been sustaining and enriching the environment of the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region to ensure it is the Place for Life.


Media Contact:
Danielle Stuebing
Director, Communications & Outreach Services
Essex Region Conservation
519-776-5209 ext 353

Kris Ives
Curator/Education Coordinator
John R. Park Homestead CA
519 738 2029

ERCA logo
Tuesday, May 30, 2023

ERCA is seeking Pre-Qualifications of General Contractors for repairs at the John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area. Repairs include south porch repairs and restoration, south foundation wall repointing, parging, and…

Expand Article

Image: Service Disruption
Thursday, May 25, 2023

Service Disruption: Holiday Beach

Please note that the park roads at Holiday Beach Conservation Area will be closed from 8:45am – 10am on Sunday, May 28 as we host the Dare2Be Challenged event. Park…

Expand Article