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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Amherstburg showcases the uncommon

by Garrett Fodor

Wizards and inventors came together for a first-of-a-kind festival to Essex County.

  This past weekend, historic downtown Amherstburg was taken back in time to the Victorian Days for the first ever Amherstburg Uncommon festival. The free, three-day festival spanned across the waterfront and featured something for everyone, from photo ops and butter beer to games, teapot races, and mazes. Each night concluded with a fireworks spectacle.

  In addition, attendees were encouraged to dress in unique, one-of-a-kind wizard costumes or Steampunk attire.

  Gordon Orr, Chief Executive Officer for Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, said the event was an “outside of the box” experience and was hopeful it would receive a warm welcome.

  “I think it is original, compelling, and a trip motivator, being free and fun for the family,” Orr said. “This sort of festival helps drive visitation to the region and it is important that there are many things to see and do in our arts and entertainment scene, thanks to events that celebrate history, culture, and historic Amherstburg.”

  The festival kicked off on August 3 with a bang, as event officials shot off the ceremonial cannon before the Canadian Historic Aircraft Association hosted a fly-over.  

 Matthew and Denise Romain were just a few of those who attended the festival dressed for the occasion.

  “We found out about the festival online and it sounded like a neat thing once we talked about what Steampunk is with our friends,” they said. “We thought wizards and Steampunk go together and if we’re going to dress up, we thought Steampunk would be fun, so we decided to make costumes.”

  The duo said it took several hours over a period of a month to prepare and gather supplies for the costumes. It was a chance for them to support local business, going to different thrift stores in search for materials and ideas.

  Participants at the festival lucked out as they had a forecast with no rain to dampen the costumes or spirits. Every event went off as planned, with several hundred people on the streets for the weekend.

  “We love how quiet and quaint Amherstburg is. And with the history here in Amherstburg, it is only appropriate this event was held here,” Denise Romain said.  


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