The CASO Station makes a lovely Festival back-drop. It will be exciting to see the train roll in and out of the station for the free train rides scheduled Friday, Saturday and Sunday running from the Station to the Memorial Arena and back.
Free train rides. It is surprising how many kids have never been on a train – they will get an opportunity for a ride Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Kids Junction. It is located in the little park at the southwest end of the festival with playground equipment, some nice shade trees and a kid-friendly line-up of activities. On Thursday afternoon the folks from the St. Thomas Elgin Cultural Diversity Committee had games from around the world. In the Kids Junction tent, there’s a focus on activities using natural materials like clay, paint, sand and leaves scheduled from 11am-8pm each day. Ashley Gammon who is an employee with the Canadian Mental Health Association has coordinated the Kids Junction schedule with CMHA helping out by giving her time to spend the four days at the Festival.
Food. There are lots of spots offering the guilty pleasures only to be found at an outdoor festival, with a nice variety of food and beverage vendors and trucks. The ribs smell good and there’s even a German food truck which appears to have real German-style homemade food – gotta try that. On Thursday and Friday evening (5-10pm) the Anderson Hall in the CASO Railway Station is open with a cash bar – a spot to sit and relax with food from the Festival and a cold beverage.
Music. The music line-up offers variety in an outdoor setting. There should be something for everyone from the opening band, April Wine on Thursday evening to The Mudmen, closing out the festival on Sunday.
Something new – re-enactors. There is Medieval re-enactment on Thursday 6-11pm and War of 1812 on Saturday from 11am-10pm. This festival site offers some space, so why not hold a fake battle. It’s a new addition to the Festival and should be fun.
It’s a good idea to wear sturdy shoes as some of the walking areas are on grass that may be a bit uneven. There will do doubt be things to improve, but the new location certainly says “Railway” and should have potential as an event location in coming years, and organizers deserve a lot of credit for getting the first one off the ground.
Find out more at www.ironhorsefestival.com.