The ever-popular Crown and Pumpkin Tour will be returning for the23rd time this Thanksgiving weekend, 12-14 Oct, 10am – 5pm daily in the Clayton and Almonte areas.  Widely known as one of the most artistically diverse tours in Eastern Ontario, this year’s tour features fine art, fine craft, fine food and drink, and more at 16 stops with over 60 participants.

Stops are selected not only because they are unique locations unto themselves but also because they are on an easy driving route to minimize travel time (not that one should be concerned about time spent driving our breathtakingly scenic roads in autumn..). Stops are in convenient groupings such as Hummingbird, HFT and Dairy Distillery, historic downtown Almonte, Union Hall area, the village of Clayton, and the “beyond Clayton” grouping. The tour is also bicycle friendly as large purchases can be delivered within a 70 km radius.

Stops have also been curated by placing appropriate guest creatives (yes, that is the word now) at each location to produce a theme and experience for visitors by tantalising them with as many senses as possible. Union Hall, built in 1857, features artists and artisans that you would possibly have seen 150 years ago at a market in the Hall.  The Dairy Distillery, with its beautiful copper vats will feature artists that use metallics and metal in their work. Our “Family Cabin in the Woods” features multiple members from two very creative families at an amazing log home, and so forth.

We have also included several lunch stops with tasty offerings from local food creatives such as Jessica’s Syrian Food, Heart and Soul Café, The Jolly Hog, and the Mississippi Youth Center artisan pizza at the community wood fired brick oven on Sat.

We have added two new and different experiences this year. At Fluid Coffee, Tara Hope Music and guests will be giving musical performances from 11am – 2 pm featuring “Church of Trees’ and other musical creatives.  We have put together a History Corner at Clayton General Store (which has been in continuous operation for over 175 years (one of the oldest in Canada)) in what is believed to be the oldest building in Clayton.  It includes an “Historical Book Nook” with a different local author of historical books each day doing book signings from 1 – 3pm.  See Claudia Smith on Saturday, Peter Usher on Sunday and Rosemary Sarsfield on Monday and then visit local historical points of interest such as the Cenotaph across the road, the Clayton Mills monument and other points, all within walking distance.

Crown and Pumpkin has evolved over the years and there are several artists, Barbara Mullally, Robert Pauly, Karen Riches, Kaija Savinainen, and Sietze and Saskia Praamsma who have participated in the tour since its inception and whose works have also evolved in new and exciting ways over those same years. Our words for participants have also changed over the years, from artists and artisans, creators, makers and now creatives. Perhaps a bunch of creatives on a tour such as Crown and Pumpkin becomes a large “Creative” (sounds like something from Star Trek)…..  So come on out and experience our Creative on the Thanksgiving weekend.