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Current events from our area for October 2015

Explore Muskoka’s pioneer past

Learn about butter churning and apple pressing, and see a display of spinning wheels at the Muskoka Lakes Museum Annual Thanksgiving Open House. 

Guests enjoy complimentary pumpkin muffins, hot mulled cider and other refreshments while watching live demonstrations of spinning, quilting and shingle making. It takes place Saturday, Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The pioneer demonstrations are always a big hit with visitors of all ages,” says museum director Doug Smith, adding that the demonstrations also provide a chance for people to chat with the craftspeople to gain a better understanding of the skills involved in these crafts.

“People still appreciate handmade items in this machine age,” says Smith.

The museum’s extensive collection of spinning wheels will also be on display at this time. “It’s an opportunity to see a variety of spinning wheels and related implements from the past, and learn something about their history and use,” he says.

Other activities taking place throughout the day include apple pressing and butter churning. More activities are still being planned. Visit the museum’s website at www.mlmuseum.com or call the museum at 705-765-5367 for details.

“The kids love to try these pioneer chores and everyone loves sampling the fresh butter and cider,” says Smith. “We even use apples from our own tree.”  

Spooky fun for little ones

Looking for a place to trick or treat with a bit of a twist?

Muskoka Heritage Place Pioneer Village hosts their 27th Great Pumpkin Trail on Halloween night.

On Saturday, Oct. 31 the village opens from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. so little ones can walk from historic home to home asking for treats.

Each village building is decorated for the occasion and most of those handing out candy are in full costume too. Individuals or businesses sponsor and decorate the exterior and doorway of the buildings. Muskoka Heritage Place provides the candy for sponsors.  

Held in the Pioneer Village within the gates of Muskoka Heritage Place, this traffic free and youngster driven Halloween event proves as much of a social event for the parents as it is for the kids.

 Be warned, the last admission is at 7:30 p.m.

Dragonfly presents a British comedy

Laugh and learn with two sisters as Dragonfly Theatre Company and the Gravenhurst Opera House present Sitting Pretty, a play by Amy Rosenthal. It opens Oct. 1.

The play is set in 1999 and tells the story of two unmarried sisters who share a flat in London. 

When one loses her job and becomes depressed, the other suggests she finds a hobby. She takes a part time job modelling for an art class, but is horrified to learn that she is expected to pose naked. She then discovers a new lease on life, which her sister finds unsettling.

Inevitably the sisters move towards a confrontation, dragging their old and new friends along with them. It’s a bittersweet play that unfolds with beautifully humorous twists and turns. 

“It’s a more serious comedy,” says director Emma Phillips. “There are quite a lot of poignant moments.”

“Dragonfly is a local amateur theatre but we try to be as professional as possible,” she explains. For the past 10 years, the not-for-profit  group has been giving bursaries to students  to study the performing arts.

Reserve your tickets by contacting the Gravenhurst Opera House at (705)-687-5550. Evening Performances are Oct 1 to 3 and Oct. 8 to 10. There is also a matinee performance on Sunday Oct. 4. 

Cranberry Festival celebrates 31 years

The famous fall festival, which always takes place the weekend after Thanksgiving celebrates Bala and the cranberry harvest.

Starting Oct. 16 and running until the 18, it offers a variety of entertainment all day long, assorted cranberry treats and the opportunity to visit one of Bala’s two cranberry farms. Enjoy midway rides and much more. Visit www.balacranberryfestival.on.ca to learn more.

Judged cranberry theme exhibits are returning for 2015 and they will be accepted on Oct. 15 at Dunn’s Pavilion. In the cranberry theme enter in cranberry bake, cranberry jar, cranberry craft, creative cranberry or even a photo contest – candid cranberry.

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