Monday, 12 October 2009

Bala Cranberry Festival 2009

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can get to the biggest and best Bala Celebration in Muskoka.

Cranfest, 2008, was a busy year!

Those who know say that this had been the best weather and the best turnout ever for our Cranberry Festival (2008 photos); (2007 photos of the bog).

As the weeks get closer to the Cranberry Festival, Cran Gran in Charge (CGIC) sends out these little elves, Cran Elves, to various communities to let every one know that Cran Fest is approaching.

You can hear them in the window in the morning. These little guy zip around, letting people know, and reminding them to stop their busy city events and come to the country to celebrate the harvest. Now, compared to Christmas this is a low key thing, but it always fine to celebrate the end of one season and the beginning of another.

When we awoke in Ottawa, during our October trip visiting the family, we could hear them.

They were afraid that we might not be back in time.
They probably hitched a ride with us, just for fun.

Ottawans are not very familiar with Cran Fest, unless they travel with family it is a long 6- hour drive back to Muskoka.

For many, those who can take a day off of work after Thanksgiving, they can help celebrate the Autumn Solstice and batten down the cottage hatches to be ready for winter. They pull up boats and put on the boat coats.

People drop everything, and visit cottage country, no hockey, no curling, just a beautiful outdoor celebration of the arts and crafts, as well as the food, and other goods you can buy.

This is the highlight of the Bala year: the Cranberry Festival. We sold 18,000 admission buttons and tons of cranberries in 2008. The profits go to community support: scholarships and bursaries. A good time was had by all: the growers, artisans, visitors, even the motorcyclists who tried to jump the queue (check out the video)! You can take a bus out to the cranberry bog and see what that is like.

You can park at one end of town, and take the Bracebridge trolley and school busses that ferry people up and down the route. Y

ou just must walk, not drive through. With 18,000 last year, it is a slow drive or walk through town!

There are many of all ages who volunteer their time to assist in this fundraiser, and many who protest the entry fee, but they are good causes.

Great young people whom we love and respect.

Then there is the Cran Anne Contest! You know that Anne of Green Gables was written here during L.M. Montgomery's two-week stay in Bala. You have to visit the Bala Museum to see a reproduction of a house of the times. .Bala's L. M. Montgomery Museum

 The ambulance group had a display - Lord knows, what with the accidents and medical issues around here, we adore these folks!

I must go a prepare for the event. All of us in town volunteer, the Cran Elves are no where to be seen as they begin preparations. It is us to us peeps to do the work. The event is a lesson in volunteerism and coordination. All 3 churches organize volunteer lists. Many work hard, all the groups have a booth, or otherwise help out: Shriners, firefighters, etc.
There is a duck race, as a fund raiser, over the falls.

Hope to see you here!

Be sure to check out my earlier YouTubevideo: on dangerous driving, as motorcycles skip around town, ignoring traffic rules. Be careful with the little ones quite excited wandering the streets. Parents, hang on to your kids!

Rick Mercer was here in 2007. That was a hoot.

RMR: Rick and Cranberry Festival

Rated 5.0 out of 5.0
- 5 min - 25 Mar 2010 - Uploaded by MercerReport
Rick gets in the bog. (originally aired: October 16, 2007)


Gaelyn said...

Love the little redhead. Have fun at the festival and tell those little elves to give a hand.

Azure Islands Designs said...

Wonderful video/photos...this will be my third year at the Cranberry Festival as a vendor in the Community Center...I absolutely love the atmosphere of the festival.

My daughter and I are looking forward to the week end!


Your EG Tour Guide said...

Sounds like a ton of fun! It's wonderful when a town full of people get together for such an event. I've heard of the Bala Cranberry Festival but have never been to it!

at the cottage said...

I am looking forward Jenn. I was there last year for the first time and loved it. This year there are 6 of us - orthodic running shoes, extra hoodiea and umbrellas.

This will be so much fun :)

Your photos are gorgeous, as always but your header photo is stunning!!

Dan Milling said...

This is the second year my parents and I have come to the Cranberry Festival and we love it! It's amazing presentation that obviously takes a huge effort on everyone's part to put together. I just discovered the Lucy Maude Montgomery connection so will have to visit the museum next time we're up. Thanks for another great festival!


PS - I'm posting some pics from our visit this year at