Horses and hounds parade through Creemore
The village serves as a beautiful backdrop for a number of activities Saturday, a reason to host friends and family for Thanksgiving weekend.
The day begins with a harvest Creemore Farmers’ Market, beside Station on the Green, beginning at 8:30 a.m. This is the last regular market of the season, before vendors move indoors on select dates.
There you will find the annual Creemore Apple Pie Contest. Bakers are encouraged to have a homemade pie ready for the judges by 9:30 a.m. at the Apple Pie Contest booth at Creemore Farmers’ Market next to Station on the Green.
They will be judged on flavour, appearance, crust and texture. The winner will be announced at 10:30 a.m. with ribbons going to the top bakers. (The winner will also get a free one-year subscription to The Creemore Echo.)
New this year, non-pie apple treats will be accepted into a separate category, with one winner chosen.
Those in attendance will have a chance to sample some pie in exchange for a donation to the charity of the winner’s choice.
The pie contest wraps up in time to scoot over the Mill Street in time to catch the Toronto and North York Hunt’s ride to hounds at 11 a.m. (see route map on next page).
The parade starts and finishes at the Gordon Feed & Seed lot in the centre of town, directly across from Foodland.
It has become an annual tradition to line Mill Street in Creemore to await the Toronto and North York Hunt as it rides to hounds on Thanksgiving weekend, against a backdrop of fall colours.
The hunt, located just south of Creemore, considers the parade as a nod to its neighbours, a show of thanks for the community’s support.
Riding to hounds is an English fox hunting tradition. The Toronto and North York Hunt, founded in 1843, is the second oldest hunt in Canada.
In England, riders would meet in a small village with their horses and hounds and go off to hunt. It became so popular that people formed hunts where the dogs would be kept together in a kennel and cared for by the huntsman. It remains a popular activity today.
The parade, an annual community event and a tourist attraction, makes two passes through town before stopping at the Gordon Feed and Seed property across from Foodland for a blessing of the hounds and a meet-and-greet.
Spectators are invited to come by the lot after the parade to admire the horses, pet the hounds and meet the riders.
After the parade, head on over to Creemore Springs Brewery for Oktoberfest with Washboard Hank, with his band The Gezundheits, who is known for playing multiple instruments including some of his own design that incorporate everything plus the kitchen sink. Get a beer and a pretzel from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Live music is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.