Last Friday, 21st June was the Summer Solstice. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not your typical ‘new age, sandal wearing, lentil eating’ type of guy (not that there is anything wrong with that!). So when a friend suggesting going to the beach with an African drum, along with several hundred other people to take part in a ‘ceremony’, I was a little bit hesitant!
Anyway, we packed the folding chairs, drums, a few drinks and some snacks, and headed for Port Dalhousie Beach– about a 15 minute drive from St David’s (near Niagara on the Lake). As we approached Port Dalhousie, there was a lot of traffic (very unusual) and a crowd of pedestrians, making their way to the beach. We arrived, unpacked, got the drums out and joined in. There must have been 300 people there drumming, dancing, singing and enjoying various other activities as the sun slowly dropped from the sky into Lake Ontario which was our backdrop. By around 10:00pm as light disappeared and everyone packed up, we headed to the Kilt & Clover, one of my favorite pubs. There is a great range of beers and there was live music. The band was excellent so we stayed until late before heading home around 1:00am.
Wind forward several days to Monday, 24th June, and we attended another fantastic event. The Niagara-on-the-Lake Dinner En Blanc! If you have never heard of this, it is an event where everyone dresses formally in white, brings white table decorations, white china, etc, arrives at a secret location, then have a big party with fine wine (red or white!) , gourmet food and live music. Monday was a fantastic night weather wise, and we all had to gather in various locations to board buses. The buses (14 in total) then took us to the secret location, where we all disembarked and headed to the wine and food stations. All in all, there were 600 attending the event which took place along the Niagara Parkway in a field adjacent to McFarland House.
With lots of singing, dancing, eating and drinking, we had a fantastic evening that went on until around 11pm. We then boarded or buses and were returned to our collection points, ready for the journey home.
These events were as different to each other as you can imagine, but both were great fun and well worth doing when you make the move to Niagara-on-the-Lake.