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Port Hope prepares for two events

Cecilia Nasmith

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today


Steamroller art and the county’s finest foods are two reasons to look forward to the Sept. 23 weekend in Port Hope.

The third annual Cultivate Festival of Food and Drink will bring the comestibles. And across the street from Cultivate, the Critical Mass group will provide the art.

At its July meeting, council received two reports from events co-ordinator Jeannie maidens and transportation-operations manager Warren Nicholishen — one on each event.

The Critical Mass group has celebrated Canada 150 with the mini MEGA Print Project, with support from the province through the Ontario 150 program. The project will run through November to engage the community in creating an artistic record of Port Hope’s heritage and a vision of its future through free artist-led workshops — as well as the steamroller event on Queen Street.

This two-day public printmaking event (Sept. 23 and 24) will take place in Rotary Park (across the street from Memorial Park and Cultivate), featuring the printing of large-scale relief prints on four-by-eight-ft. wood blocks, plus family-friendly activities, demonstrations, exhibits, street art and a vendor market.

Behan Construction is supplying the steamroller and a licensed operator, the report said.

“The main focus of hosting a steamroller event is to contrast the use of this construction machinery in its own environment (the street) and use it as a tool to make contemporary art,” the report said.

“Queen Street offers the perfect showcase, and the flattest pavement to do so.

“The road closures requested to accommodate both events create a pedestrian-friendly area around the fenced-off Memorial Park, ensuring safe pedestrian crossing from one activity to the next.

“This partnership creates a free, accessible Canada 150 cultural experience for the community and visitors to explore.”

As for Cultivate, a special-occasion permit will allow the outdoor licensed event from 4 to 11 p.m. Sept. 22, from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 23, and from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 24.

“Cultivate will once again bring local chefs, restaurateurs, craft breweries, farmers and patrons together to celebrate Northumberland’s culinary culture,” the report said.

“The event will include the sale of food, alcohol and live music in Memorial Park.”

It will be promoted as a family-friendly event that celebrates food, agriculture and the arts, and is well positioned to “build capacity for culinary tourism in Port Hope and educate the public about the many food channels in the region and throughout the province.”

New this year will be a vendor market on Augusta Street.

For both events, there are two street closures.

Augusta Street will be closed from Queen Street to Elias Street from 8 a.m. Sept. 23 through 8 p.m. Sept. 24 to accommodate the outdoor vendor market.

Queen Street will be closed from Walton Street to Robertson Street from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days for the steamroller event.

As well, some parking restrictions will apply on Elias and Augusta streets as well as in the southerly municipal lot.

Councillor Jeff Lees said Cultivate has proven to be a very popular and enjoyable event.

Mayor Bob Sanderson noted with approval that it runs for three days. These longer events, as opposed to ones that go on for just one day, have a more significant impact on the community, he said.

“We are trying to keep events going a little longer, and having a little more fun, I think,” Lees agreed.

Resolutions in support of both will be prepared for the Aug. 1 council meeting.