Almost 800 meals were served, as music and laughter spilled out of the tent and into the picnic grounds.
Friends reunited and friendships kindled, surrounded by the tantalizing aroma of jerk chicken, while Lord Mayor Betty Disero twirled on the dance floor with Amado to the reggae classic One Love.
Good things are growing in Niagara and the Peach Pickers Picnic is one of them.
“This party just keeps on getting bigger and better. I will be here every year to say thank you. Thank you to all of you for the work that you do here in Niagara-on-the-Lake, we are blessed,” said Disero. “We are blessed with rich soil, a great irrigation system and your hard work. Our farmers, our residents are grateful and our businesses are grateful.”
This is a special event that belongs uniquely to Niagara-on-the-Lake. The community has contributed in so many ways over the years, ensuring that the these men and women know that they are appreciated and respeacted.
In 2010, the Town provided the first discretionary grant, which helped to build a foundation for future welcome concerts.
Local organizations such as the NOTL Horticultural Society have helped the transition from an annual event to a perennial favourite among farm workers and locals. Countless individuals paid it forward to cover a farm worker’s meal.
Members of the Shaw Festival ensemble are discovering life beyond the stage as they delivered tickets to the farms and are drawn into the real life experiences of the people who put food on our tables and fine wine into the glass.
Local churches are discovering the joys of worshipping Caribbean style as their neighbours on the farms share their vibrant music from back home.
Towns in other rural areas of Ontario are contacting us as they seek better farming practices, which also includes creating a welcoming community. There is a growing desire to connect and enrich the lives of everyone’s experience while living and working in Canada.
Thank you so much to everyone who contributed in such meaningful ways, whether through donations of goods, food, time or financially. The Peach Pickers Picnic would not be a success without you.
We look forward to some exciting new partnerships in the coming year.
Loving your neighbours, expressing gratitude and showing up for the party. Now that’s what makes a town truly beautiful.