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Kingsville Migration Festival - The annual autumn celebration continues


by Dan Bissonnette

The cool, crisp autumn weather last weekend provided perfect conditions to host the Kingsville Migration Festival, which is promoted as a celebration of “migration, heritage, nature conservation, and Jack Miner [the Father of North American Conservation].”

  The Town of Kingsville hosts this annual tradition, with the support of local community groups. As a long-standing tradition, this year marked the 53rd annual event.

  Much of the activities over the course of the weekend took place at Lakeside Park. The festivities, however, could be found throughout the town. The gazebo at Mettawas Park was used as a gathering place for a historic walking tour, while the Carnegie Arts & Visitor Centre served as a starting point for two bike tours. The Jack Miner Migratory Bird Sanctuary hosted its own activities, which included a car show, fish pond, and pancake breakfast.

  In addition, there were also children’s activities hosted at Lions Park and the Kingsville OPP detachment.

  Artists could be found throughout the Town of Kingsville, painting the local scenery as part of the “Great Migration Paint Out.” This is a relatively new part of the festival that began three-years ago. This year’s edition of the Paint Out attracted 18 artists, many of whom were local as well as some from beyond Essex County, including Toronto and Michigan.

  This year’s Paint Out reception at the Grovedale Arts & Culture Centre on Sunday afternoon included a performance by the Windsor Symphony Orchestra’s String Quartet.

  Laura Lucier, a Kingsville Councillor and Chairperson of this year’s Migration Festival Committee, spoke at the opening ceremony on Friday evening about what was in store for this year. She considered this edition of the festival as a mix of old favourites with a few new activities. One notable addition was the “Quick Paint” Competition at Lakeside Park on Saturday morning, where artists were given two-hours to paint a park scene.

   When asked about how this festival compares to other annual events that take place in Kingsville, she spoke about its local focus.

  “Many of our events, like the Highland Games, are organized as a tourist attraction. Although this festival does attract people from outside of Kingsville, it’s really for our residents. We try to have something for everyone.”

  Those who attended this year’s festival might likely agree with Lucier’s sentiments about having something for everyone. This family-friendly event offered a wide-variety of children’s activities, including a pet parade, magic shows, face painting, and rides on “The Kingsville Express” train. The young at heart could also enjoy a range of activities that included dog agility shows, birds of prey demonstrations, art competitions, tours, and live theatre performances, as well as a Festival Marketplace for local craftsmen, authors, and businesses.

  As in previous years, this year’s festival provided an opportunity for community outreach for local groups, including the Kingsville Lions Club and the 2nd Kingsville Scouts. Thanks to strong community support from these groups and local volunteers, the Kingsville Migration Festival has once again been a source of fun, arts, and culture, natural heritage, and community pride. 

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