Kingsville celebrates fall with 50th annual Migration Festival

submitted by Max De Liberato

The Town of Kingsville celebrated fall with its 50th annual Migration Festival over weekend. Even though a lot has changed over the past half-century, the spirit of the event remains the same.

The festival commemorated the annual migration of Canadian Geese to the south of Canada, the contributions of Jack Miner to the Town, and the coming together of a community. The festival honors these things by hosting a parade on the Saturday of the event. This year’s parade featured everything from dogs and political floats to a special appearance from the Kingsville Kings hockey team.

Celebrators could also go to other locations, such as the Kingsville Arena or Lakeside Pavilion, to peruse a vendor area. They could also enjoy the company of geese over at Jack Miner’s Bird Sanctuary.

“Migration Festival brings the community together in so many ways from the groups that participate in the parade, to the groups that help volunteer and run the events, to the groups that have fundraising events going on simultaneously.” Laura Lucier said, who is a Town Councillor in Kingsville. “It brings children and seniors and all the members of the community together.”

The festival has been consistent for years, according to Lucier. And with the community turning out by the thousands to celebrate, she isn’t wrong. Lucier said the great residents of the Town, who are always willing to volunteer and participate in the event, is why the festival has had such success over the last 50-years.

“It’s part of the community, it’s a good feeling, I guess, and everybody is having a good time, and that’s why we’re here.” Carol Labutte, a festival goer, said.

In 1904, Jack Miner opened the Jack Miner’s Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Five-years later, he had pioneered the banding of migrant waterfowl, according to the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation.

According to Lucier, the festival has changed a lot over the years, but has remained a great way to bring the community together to celebrate their heritage. 

The original festival spread Jack Miner’s enthusiasm for wildlife conservation across the community, and with the Sanctuary packed full of people on the weekend, it’s apparent that the people still care about the Town’s heritage and legacy of conservation that started 115 years ago.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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