The air was crisp with the slight chill that comes at the end of a long summer’s warmth. The extended driveway on Pelee Island’s East-West Road is welcoming and lined with rainbow umbrellas. The terrain slopes down and turns right revealing the quarry picnic tables, and on August 24th, 2019, a carnival of fun and excitement.
It was a Farmers Market like none other in the 2019 Stone & Sky season. The regular staff were dressed as clowns and they were up to all sorts of shenanigans! They were painting faces, making faces, making balloon animals, and giving away Pelee Bucks.
Pelee Bucks were designed as a Fall Fair cryptocurrency. Ideally to be used at the Fall Fair by the receiving guest, although they could be redeemed at certain Island businesses: Artworks, The Bakery, The Treasure Emporium, and The Pelee Island Winery. Pelee Bucks were obtained by winning a game or contest run by a working clown.
From 10am to 1pm on August 24 the regular Stone & Sky Farmers Market was accompanied by a majestic, tall, large, green, and blue bouncy castle. Strong and full of air it stood tall as children from all directions came with joy to jump their hearts out.
Local farmers were also excited and selected the best of their crop for the 2019 produce awards. The categories and winners were: Biggest chicken – no entries, Friendliest and furriest – Radar – Alyssa Staples, Biggest – Gourd – Dale Adamson, Most fetching on a hat – Eggplants – Carolyn Hardy, Most interesting colour – Okra – John Ambrose, Tastiest – Cherry tomatoes – Carolyn Hardy, Looks most like a face – Potatoes – Mayor Ray.
There was much cheer after the celebrity judges (Julia Burgess and Patrick Hannon) finally announced the winners. Winners received $10 in Pelee Bucks, a pair of sparkly clown glasses, and a round of applause. The Farmers Market portion of the fair commenced at its usual time at 1pm.
At 4pm the staff were back in full clown outfits with painted faces and children were abound all over the quarry playing fun and challenging games for Pelee Bucks. There was tin can bowling, ring toss, try and bite the apple on the string with no hands, and more. Many of the games were helped run by volunteers.
A highlight of the evening was the rummage raffle. Guests and friends donated their unwanted “rummage” to be re-purposed in treasure and raffled off. The staff arranged everything into beautiful gift baskets and displays. They were catching to the eye and certainly generated a lot of interest amongst the guests! Guests eagerly bought raffle tickets and placed them in bags representing each item. There was commotion in the air. Who was going to win what item!
Local roots singer Allison Brown was on stage singing her melodies and own written songs to a happy audience. In between songs the clowns ran on stage to announce the winners of the rummage raffle to eager ears. All of the items that were once rummage were now treasure… except for one leftover prize, a Day of the Dead wreath. After much consideration the happy clown on stage gave it a big hug and a new home.
Everyone was happy and left headed for their homes with smiles on their faces and new treasures and memories to enjoy.