In Celebration of the Peach

July 28, 2015 10:30 am

image001While the locals and anyone relishing a Niagara restaurant’s farm-to-table meal appreciate it plenty, most of the visitors to the Niagara Peninsula don’t realize what a large and important role agriculture has played in the region for hundreds of years. That same mild climate responsible for making Niagara a great year-round tourist destination and celebrated wine country also allows for some of the most fertile farms and orchards in all of Canada.

From vineyards and farmer’s markets to fruit stands and pumpkin patches, the fruit of the earth bursts forth from all corners of Niagara, and one of the area’s favorites, the peach, is celebrated every year during the month of August with a festival that marks another year’s delicious harvest.

Whether or not you love peaches, if you’re planning a family vacation to Niagara, set aside some time to revel in the harvest by taking in the fun at the Peach Festival.

The Peach in Niagara

The production and processing of Ontario peaches brings in millions of dollars in revenue each year, and it’s the Niagara Peninsula that’s responsible for producing the vast majority of the province’s peaches. The commercial growing of peaches has been an integral part of the agricultural wealth of the region since the early 19th century, which is why every August, there’s a weekend set aside to celebrate the farms and workers devoted to the work that makes everything peach-related in the area possible.

The Festival

image003Set in Niagara-on-the-Lake, this year’s Peach Festival will take place across two days, the weekend of August 9 and August 10, and the peach, in more incarnations than you can shake a stick at, will be the guest of honor. Fresh peaches, peach jam, peach ice cream, peach pies, peach cobblers, peach farmers, peach philosophers, and more will all descend on the city’s historic Queen Street.

On that Saturday, the shops will be open for sidewalk sales, and live entertainment will start early and last all weekend long from bands including: Ceol Cara, The Toronto All Star Band, the St. Catharines Pipe Band, The Local Fife and Drum, and David Hoy. Once evening hits and the live Salsa band begins to play, dancing will ensue, and attendees will be able to enjoy food from Signature Kitchens of Niagara-on-the-Lake, wine from the many excellent wineries in the region, and plenty of quality, local craft beer, as well.

On Sunday, the celebration moves from Queen Street to St. Vincent de Paul Church where the peach focus and fun will continue unabated. Sunday evening will find as many as 1,000 people joining together to enjoy an on-street meal in the Heritage District of Niagara-on-the-Lake. You can reserve a spot at the Shades of Summer Dinner, and eat a world-class meal complete with table service and wine with seven of your favorite dinner companions, or you can pre-order a gourmet picnic meal from the local Signature Kitchen eateries or bring your own food for an unforgettable peach of a night that will serve up more live music and dancing that won’t quit until 11 p.m.