A Niagara-on-the-Lake staple, the peach festivals, are back after a two-year hiatus.
While the pandemic has prevented the festivals from happening since 2019, this year marks the return of both the chamber of commerce’s festival, and the festival at St. Vincent de Paul church.
Nicole Cripps, events co-ordinator with the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce, said attendees can come down to Queen Street (from King Street to Victoria Street) between 10 am and 5 pm on Saturday, Aug. 13 to check out the peachy fun.
Businesses along Queen Street are invited to participate with sidewalk sales, said Cripps.
With them will be food vendors, selling peach themed treats.
“The restaurants and bakeries, they do peach inspired items — you know, peach muffins, peach crepes, peach smoothies, everything you can think of that’s peach,” she said.
Of course, there will also be peaches for sale.
“We’ll have peaches for sale from four of our local farmers, including Lepp farms and Seaway farms,” Cripps said. “Because you can’t come to the peach festival without buying a basket of peaches, right?”
Music will be heard from bands such as the Toronto All-Star Big Band, Melody Italiano, and a steel pan band.
The annual peach pie contest is also back, said Cripps.
Those looking to participate can bring their feet to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce office at 26 Queen St. before 11 am Aug. 13.
Then, the competition will be held at noon in front of the courthouse, where three judges will pick the best pie.
The following day, St. Vincent de Paul church at 73 Picton St. brings back its peach festival.
Terry Choules and his wife Sharyn are co-chairs of the festival, which runs from 10 am to 3:30 pm
There will be 500 feet available for purchase, which Choules said are usually gone within the first two hours.
Aside from the peach-flavoured food, Choules said there will be a white elephant table, a raffle, face painting, a clown for kids, and food such as hot dogs, and corn on the cob.
After two years away from the event, he said it was hard to get back into the swing of planning it, but he’s looking forward to having everyone out.
“The strawberry and the cherry festival did better than usual,” he said. “I guess people want to get out and want to get back into a normal scheme of life.”
Sunday night also sees the return of the chamber’s Shades of Summer, a celebration of the peach harvest, where people who pre-registered will enjoy a dinner, and dance the night away.
For Cripps, the best part is having everyone back together.
“I’m looking forward to it,” she said. “I’m looking forward to having the whole event back.”