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The Bond Head Festival June 26th, 2012

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Bond Head Festival in the hamlet of Bond Head in Simcoe County, Ontario, as an invited speaker.  Marking the 175th anniversary of the hamlet’s founding as a village circa 1837, the festival was a wonderful celebration of history and culture, boasting live music, arts and crafts, historical tours, a vintage automobile exhibit, and fun activities for kids of all ages.  After enjoying a ride in Ron Simpson’s 1931 Model A Ford in the festival parade on Saturday morning, I spoke on the mainstage in the Opening Ceremonies, following speeches by such dignitaries as federal MP and house leader Peter van Loan, MPP Julia Munro, and local mayors and city councillors.  In the afternoon I gave three presentations on the life and times of the village’s namesake, Sir Francis Bond Head, Upper Canada’s literary lieutenant governor during the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion; and on Sunday I returned to the mainstage, following a lively outdoor ecumenical service, to reprise my talks in the festival’s closing event.  Although prior to the festival I had expected to speak to small audiences of local historians and other interested folk, I must have spoken to a few hundred people throughout the weekend.  It’s no wonder I left feeling elated, having had a splendid time and having learned much too.  I’d like to thank Lynda Usher and the Bond Head 175 Festival organizers for inviting me into their community and showing me such warm hospitality during my stay.  Long live the hamlet of Bond Head!

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