Warkworth Ontario, part of the beautiful rolling hills of Northumberland County, has a Rodeo, a Pie-baking Contest and a Summer Film Showing. But the event that gets my highest and lip-smacking attention is the Long Lunch in mid August.
Each year the good denizens of Warkworth spread out a table the length of Main Street (okay, it stretches from the LCBO to the Warkworth Library and Municipal Building). And upon that table they serve up a country feast of salads, fresh corn, beans, and pork or beef with your choice of the berry, berry good local pies – see the annual November Perfect pie contest here for the origins of the local pie making precocity in the area..
But a hardy meal is not the only fare available at the Long Lunch. Add in some great Banjo, Flute and Dixieland Band music, a photography show and some great sidewalk shopping and you have the makings of a great afternoon outing.
Lining both sides of the streets are art galleries, antique shops and plenty of shady seating to swap stories and tell tall tales with. Its certainly has the makings for Stephen Leacock picaresque story telling. And walking through I could hear some pretty good yarns and slap-pants stories spinning their way.
Unfortunately the Long Lunch has had to fend off Mother Nature from time to time. No small feat in this summer of much rainy weather.
Canopy for Weather Protection
The Dixie Dudes
The weather has gotten downright offensive in the past few years – a downpour or two mixed in with nipping winds have greeted Lunch goers.
But now the town is ready. As you can see from the photo above, the Long Lunch has a nifty white canopy running most of its length and it provides shelter from either a too strident Sun or rains run amuck as they are wont to do in the Trent Hills area. I am assured that each valley around Warkworth has its own local weather systems.
This year was no exception in the Weather threats department – with the latest forecast on the Weather Network of 40% chance of Big Blustery and the Dunderheads playing their downpour sounds.
Fortunately, the only sounds were music to the ears from The Dixie Dudes whose upbeat Dixieland Sounds were not only fun and full of merriment; but infectious enough to get a not a few Long Lunchers tripping the lite fantastic right on Main Street.
And this was just the start of musical entertainments that includes flute with song and some lively banjo strumming. I know the latter were appropriately colorful. Perhaps not the piquant “quality” of P.G.Wodehouse’s banjolele renditions in ThankYou, Jeeves – but certainly more fungo fun.
And musics and good conversation were not the only goodies to be found on this Long Lunch afternoon. There was a photography show over in the old library building. Here on display were Spirit of the Hills photographers and the results of their latest competition. The images were quite good – even the Honourable Mentions were of winning quality.
And the new Library had a big book sale. And of course all the shoppes in town were featuring their Sunday Best.
My own personal favorite was the Eclectic Mix which had featured artist Mary McEwan painting out front as seen in the screenshot at the left. Mary has some very compelling acrylics and water colors a few of which can be seen here.
It was fascinating to see that her painting techniques used some of the very same methods employed by some of thePhotoFinishing plugins that one can use when doing post photography work. There is really a rich continuity between painting and photofinishing.
Also it was fascinating to see her play with colors echoing that of honourable father’s pastels. Mary was constantly working the colors in her painting with more than brush strokes – again just like honourable father.
It was a delight to chat with the artist and see her color styling in action. And of course there were lots of good picture taking opportunities as you can see here. This reminded me of the craft show at Dundas Ontario – of course they have the Dundas School of Art nearby offering many artisans and courses for great local interest. The nearest equivalent is Sir SandFord Fleming College in Cobourg and Peterborough.
Clearly the arts are thriving in Northumberland county – Spirit of the Hills encompasses a wide range of crafts and arts. But perhaps the icing on the cake was the Long Lunch’ s very nice appointments as seen below:
– in short there were all the touches that make a lunchtime repast congenial. Visit here to see all the details about the Long Lunch. Visit here for 50 more pictures of the goodies to be found at this year’s Warkworth Long Lunch.