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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

History Weekend set for Aug. 1 to 3 at Presqu'ile Provincial Park

BRIGHTON, Ont. --Presqu’ile Provincial Park, home of the Presqu’ile Lighthouse, a historic landmark for Brighton and Northumberland County, is ready to celebrate History Weekend on August 1st, 2nd & 3rd (2014)

“Before becoming a Provincial Park in 1956, the Presqu’ile peninsula was used by many different groups of people”, says Park Naturalist David Bree. “Soldiers during the War of 1812, rumrunners during prohibition, pioneers, ship builders, pirates, hotel guests and cottagers were all here at one time or other”.

Bree goes on to say. “Presqu’ile was even destined to become an important city in Upper Canada before the sinking of the schooner Speedy. This weekend is a chance for our visitors to have some fun and relive Presqu’ile’s storied past by participating in the many events offered throughout History Weekend.”

In addition to daily tours of the historic lighthouse area there will be many special events starting on Friday night where there will be an evening program showing a silent film, 'Tillie's Punctured Romance' starting Marie Dressler (who was from Cobourg) and Charlie Chaplin. It was made in 1914 and provided by the Vintage Film Festival of Cobourg. This film will be accompanied by live piano playing by staff member Laura Mclintock, just like they did before the talkies came to town. 

Saturday starts off with a War of 1812 mini muster children’s program where kids can be recruited into the army and participate in drills at a supply camp that was at Presqu’ile during the war. Later in the day join us for old fashion picnic games (do you remember the sack race?) which will be followed by our children’s boat-building bee.

This year the boat building takes on a new significance, not only are we building boats for Sunday’s regatta but also a boat to burn. Burn! Yes, Saturday will finish off with a dramatic retelling of the event that occurred 200 years ago, when American raiders attacked Presqu’ile and burned a British schooner being built here. Our boat will burn and we invite you to consign your boat to the flames after. 

Sunday starts off with a bang with an 1812 rapid fire competition display. This will be followed by the wild and wacky Calthumpian Parade. Bring your noise-makers and silly costumes or borrow ours and parade down to the regatta site where yesterday’s boats (those not burned) will race the waves and each other. 

Our weekend wraps up with a Peter Solmes concert, followed by the annual Ghost Walk. With the help of the spirits of the past, we will explore the question of what was Presqu’ile’s greatest rivalry. 

For more details on Presqu’ile’s annual History Weekend, pick up an activity schedule at the park gate or check out the Friends of Presqu’ile website (friendsofpresquile.on.ca) or call David at 613-475-4324 ext. 225 or email david.bree@ontario.ca. Regular park admission fees apply. 

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