Homestead to Celebrate Lost Arts Festival

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Essex There’s no better way to connect with the past than through the lens of artistry. Visit the John R. Park Homestead to meet a variety of demonstrators at the annual Lost Arts Festival, a unique and family-friendly event to see and experience different forms of crafts and artisanship of years gone by.

On Sunday, August 13th from 11am – 5pm, meet local artists and artisans with unique talents and see them crafting their incredible works. Kids can try their hand at the Imagination Stations and enjoy old-fashioned toys and games. See demonstrations around the early settler farm, including blacksmithing, woodcarving, black powder, butter making, spinning, weaving  and more! Find some special treasures to purchase and take home.

Watch as the Homestead’s resident blacksmith turns raw iron into detailed pieces or enjoy an architectural tour of the 1842 Park family home, which is set to undergo a significant restoration effort. Other traditional skills will include basket weaving, tinsmithing, pyrography, quilling and many more.  Guests can also enjoy live fiddle music by Mike Houston, Old Time Fiddle, with special guest Ray Pettigrew.

Meet the artists and craftspeople who engage in these traditions, gain some knowledge, and find out how you might fit one of these ‘old’ hobbies into your modern life.

“So much of what we do today happens in front of a digital screen, and that includes creative activities,” said Homestead Curator Kris Ives. “This festival is a great opportunity to get hands-on with the creation of pieces that are both beautiful and functional, to meet artisans, to consider new hobbies, and to get inspired authentically, rather than virtually.”

Make a day of it and purchase lunch from Scotty’s BBQ food booth, or delicious baked goods from Beagle Tree Farms. Admission is included with your ERCA Annual Pass or purchase tickets in advance online via Eventbrite. Tickets are also available at the door.

For more information, contact the Homestead: 519-738-2029 extension 738, or

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