EARLTOWN – History and heritage will come to life in Earltown this weekend.
The fifth annual Earltown Gathering is Sunday and Monday as a way to honour its past and continue a tradition.
According to historical accounts, in 1824, Earltown’s John Sutherland searched for a spot to lay his son to rest and the Earltown Village Cemetery became the final resting place for many early settlers.
In 1965, descendents of the Clan Mackenzie Highlanders gathered to reclaim the graves of their anscestors. People travelled great distances to the call of a 'pied piper' and it became the annual homecoming for descendants of settlers from Scotland in the early 1800s. The 'Pipers Picnic' was born and continued for more than 40 years.
In 2009, Scott Whitelaw and Quita Grey, co-owners of Sugar Moon Farm in Earltown, hosted a Gathering in Earltown to commemorate the 'Pipers Picnic.'
This year’s event will include storytelling, cemetery tours, entertainment, sword fighting, concerts, hikes, craft fair and meals.
Linda Finnie, co-ordinator of the craft fair, estimated there were about 600 people who attended last year.
“People have come from around the province,” Finnie said.
Tickets for the picnic dinner and dance are available by calling 657-3348. Admission to all other events is by donation for the upkeep of historic cemeteries and the Earltown Community Hall.
If you go:
10 a.m. to noon – Music, food, cemetery tour and stories at Sugar Moon Farm
1 to 3 p.m. – Furniture-making demos at Jonathan Otter’s studio in Earltown
3 to 5 p.m. – Picnic dinner at Sugar Moon Far
6 to 9 p.m. – Schoolhouse contra dance at the Earltown Community Hall
8 to 10 a.m. – Hikers’ breakfast at Sugar Moon Farm
10 a.m. to noon – Guided hike of Rogart Mountain Trail. Meet at Sugar Moon Farm. The 6.2 km hike will take about two hours and will include visiting historical foundations from original settlers.