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From spooky stories to fall family favourites: A review of Thanksgiving weekend in and around Hamilton

A variety of events and activities took place in Hamilton this weekend for those looking for some Fall fun and in celebration of Thanksgiving.

The Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show, Rockton World’s Fair and Dorchester Fair are just a few of many fall fairs that occurred over the weekend.

People attending the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show got to experience an indoor local market, art displays, food and the largest horse show in Canada. Agricultural exhibits, a demolition derby, mini tractor pull and an alpaca show are a variety of things present at both Rockton World’s Fair and Dorchester Fair.

Spookier, Halloween-themed events also took place. A traditional ghost walk of downtown Hamilton or the “haunted city” happened on Thursday, Oct. 5 and the first of four historical Creepy Caledonia Ghost Tours was on as well, where people got a lantern-lit tour of Caledonia while hearing local ghost stories, folklore and legends. The next Creepy Caledonia Ghost Tours will be held on Oct. 14, 21 and 28 at the Caledonia Fairgrounds beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $8 per person.

Apart from Hamilton, a lot of other fall activities were held across the Niagara region. The annual Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival was held from Friday, Oct. 6 – Monday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Visitors could purchase tickets for $10 online or in-person at the entrance for the same price.

Delicious food, including poutine and deep-fried pie bites, live music, a local farmer’s market, heritage tours and guided nature hikes through colourful forest trails were featured at the festival for attendees to experience.

Lots of delicious food to eat at the festival, including these deep-fried pie bites from Rolling in the Dough.
Visitors had a large selection of fries to choose from, ranging from poutine to regular fries with the toppings of their choice.

There were a great selection of craft and artisan vendors as well. Candles, body ointments and hand-made collars for dogs were seen being sold by vendors at the festival.

Meghan Patterson, a vendor selling her very own hand-crafted bath and body products, says this is her first year selling products at the Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival.

“This is my first year [coming to the festival],” Patterson said. “I normally like to travel around all of Ontario to get a new customer base. I enjoy travelling and meeting new people and sharing my love of bath bombs and body products to everyone. I have hand-crafted bath and body products, mini bath bombs and shower steamers here today.”

Vendor Meghan Patterson showing her display of hand-crafted bath and body products.
A variety of dog collars displayed at one of the vendor stands.

For Chris and Amanda Labuckas, attending the festival with their family is a yearly Thanksgiving tradition.

“I’ve been coming here since I was a kid,” Chris Labuckas said. “Amanda’s not from around here, so when we met I told her about the festival and we started bringing our kids here, so it’s a tradition for us.”

“We’ve been coming here since our youngest daughter was born,” Amanda Labuckas added. “So we’ve been coming for 14 years aside from COVID.”

The Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival will return on next year’s Thanksgiving weekend from Friday, Oct. 11 – Monday, Oct. 14.


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