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Village to be beehive of activity during Queenston Fair

By Penny Coles, Niagara Advance

There will be lots to do in the village of Queenston Saturday, June 18 as Laura Secord Day is celebrated with a village fair. Fred Sentineal will be offering carriage rides, Lord Mayor Pat Darte wil be reading the proclamation, Kathy Thomas, one of the organizers, is working on the dog show, an old-time car show - Rob Copeland's truck will be on display - and a hat show, while Caroline McCormack, president of the Friends of Laura Secord, is working to pull all the events together throughtout the village. Penny Coles/Postmedia Network

There will be lots to do in the village of Queenston Saturday, June 18 as Laura Secord Day is celebrated with a village fair. Fred Sentineal will be offering carriage rides, Lord Mayor Pat Darte wil be reading the proclamation, Kathy Thomas, one of the organizers, is working on the dog show, an old-time car show - Rob Copeland's truck will be on display - and a hat show, while Caroline McCormack, president of the Friends of Laura Secord, is working to pull all the events together throughtout the village. Penny Coles/Postmedia Network

The inaugural re-enactment of the 1813 walk of Laura Secord was an event that would be hard to top, but Caroline McCormick, great-great-great-granddaughter of Secord and president of the Friends of Laura Secord, keeps trying.

 

She is determined the Canadian heroine will be remembered and celebrated, and along with the third annual Secord walk, is helping to organize a Queenston fair in commemoration of all that occurred that June day 200 years ago.

The town council recently agreed the third Saturday in June would be proclaimed Laura Secord Day, to recognize the woman “whose courageous acts on June 22, 1813, changed the course of Canadian history.”

Her story also highlights the “important contributions of women, aboriginal peoples and everyday citizens to Canada’s emerging sovereignty and ultimate nationhood,” and her contribution played a “significant role in defining our nation,” the proclamation reads.

It will be read at the old-time village fair Saturday, June 18, an event that is intended to focus attention on the historic village and Secord, said McCormick.

There are many events planned for the fair, and as the day grows closer the list will likely grow longer. It will encompass the five public locations in the village - the Laura Secord Homestead, the Mackenzie Heritage Printery, the Queenston Library, Willowbank School of Restoration Arts, RiverBrink Art Museum, and the park that was the playground for the former Laura Secord Memorial School, now a campus of Willowbank - a park many, including McCormick, hope will one day be named after the local heroine.

At the various locations throughout the day there will be horse and carriage rides, an old-time car show, vendors, a Laura’s Treasures table, activities for kids organized by the NOTL Sparks and Brownies, historical displays, music, demonstrations, a treasure hunt, a dog show, a hat show, and more. 

McCormick is encouraging businesses throughout NOTL to celebrate the national heroine and take advantage of the opportunity it could provide for their business - name something after Laura Secord, she suggests. A Secord Sip, a Laura Lunch, a Secord Sandwich are just a few of the specials she hopes to hear about.

Beau Chapeau from Queen St. has come onboard with a gift card for the winner of the hat show, and Loeb lavender is providing something to sell as a souvenir of the day that is lavender-related, says McCormick.

“Any business that wants to be involved can have some fun with this. Really it’s as simple as naming some product or item on a menu after Laura Secord, just for this newly-proclaimed heroine’s day.”

There will be a display of all things Laura Secord at the Queenston Library, as well as old photos, paintings or any memorabilia that traces the history of the village for Queenston, Then and Now.

Lord Mayor Pat Darte will be on hand at the homestead at 1 p.m. Saturday to read the proclamation.

Volunteers are needed on the day of the events for several different activities, including judging and sales, to organize some events, or to dress as costumed strollers to provide atmosphere and promote the history of the area.

Also to be introduced that day is a language card, produced by the Friends of Laura Secord, telling the story of who she was and what she accomplished. It will be available to scan with a phone app that will translate the story into more than 80 different languages.

Anyone looking for more information about any of the events, or with something to sell as Laura’s Treasures, or memorabilia for the displays of Queenston history or Laura Secord, call Thomas at 289-271-7787. or email thomas@tracinghistory.ca 



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