For several years we have talked about heading to the Corn and Apple Festival. For one reason or another we just did not make it. This year we decided it was going to happen. Our original plans were to head out late afternoon and catch a couple of stage shows that were scheduled on the Saturday evening. After discussing the travel time and the festivals closing time, we decided an early start Sunday morning made more sense. At just after 9:00 AM we started our 80-minute drive to Morden, Manitoba.
I took a little time to read up on the festival, I found out that the festival started back in 1967 to coincide with Canada’s Centennial Celebrations. In my mind’s eye I had an image of what the festival would look like, a street fair was not it. For a Street fair Morden has a lot going on: two stages for entertainment, a midway by Wonder Shows, Games, vendors, petting zoo, car show, bus tour, free corn and apple cider and more. Although the festival started out relatively small, they now receive 80,000 visitors over the three-day festival. Every encounter we had with vendors was enjoyable and often informative.
One big distraction to the festival were the flies and the wasps, I guess that’s two distractions. When we could find a place to sit, there was not many benches around, the flies were all over us. The wasps were just everywhere, so much so that we decided to find an indoor restaurant for lunch, so we would not have to eat outside with the flying devils. Going inside a fly still found us.
We skipped the lines for the free corn and Apple Cider, the lines were longer than we were interested in taking part in. The Apple Cider is one small cup and from what we could tell it was apple juice. Although I enjoy corn and free corn even better, there was a limit of one and standing in line in the open sun just did not sound like a good time. Other than a vendor on the highway coming into Morden we had not seen anywhere to get apples. We found out later that there were no longer any apple orchards in the area. We did snag some sweet corn on our way out of the festival, $10.00 for a baker’s dozen. The corn is sold by a few vendors on the midway and we also noticed a couple on the main street coming into Morden.
The festival is set up in the middle of Stephen Street. We arrived early as the vendors were opening, and the midway was testing the rides. There appeared to be quite a bit of space to walk, as the day progressed, and more visitors arrived walking became more challenging. Strollers, wagons, dog walkers and small groups of people standing around ate up the walkway.
Not making it out on Saturday we missed out on the entertainment on the main stage, Econoline Crush and Sloan were scheduled to perform. We were able to catch The Sixagons on the Youth Stage, they performed a number of covers like Three Little Birds and Tweeter and the Monkey Man. For young folk performing material from before they were born, they were entertaining.
We took advantage of the free bus tour. While we waited for the next scheduled tour, we were offered free apple juice and purchased a slice of apple pie. Oddly these were the only apple products we came across in the festival. The festival brought in comfort buses for the tour, this made the ride around relaxing. There was a tour guide on the bus to give the highlights and Morden history. The information on the founders of the city and historical landmarks was interesting. Sometimes it felt like we were being sold on something, I almost had a feeling we were going to be presented with opportunities for a Time Share before we disembarked, we weren’t.
After four hours walking around the festival, we decided to pack it in. We missed getting to the car show and the petting zoo, two attractions that were still on our list. Maybe we will try to head back again and fit in the attractions and main stage entertainment that we missed. We will have to think about that, a three hour round trip for a street festival and an opportunity to buy a bag of corn.