You know it’s high summer in Southern Ontario when you take your first, juicy bite of an Ontario peach. If the thought of that bite gets you drooling, make sure you mark your calendar for this year’s Winona Peach Festival on August 24th to 26th. The festival is held annually in Winona, Ontario—near Hamilton—and boasts some of the best peach-filled recipes, arts & crafts vendors, and live entertainment.
If it’s your first time attending the festival, what are the must-see spots? Look Local spoke with Debbie Bramer, board member and chairperson of for the Winona Peach Festival, to get some advice. “If you’re a foodie, you will definitely want to check out the Food Court,” says Bramer. It’s basically a peach-lovers dream: peach pie, peach cobbler, peach salsa, peach crêpe, and their famous peach sundaes.
Visiting the Food Court to fuel up is a necessity, says Bramer, since the festival is packed with attractions. “A first-timer will be tired by the end of the day! There are over ninety arts & crafts booths and over 100 commercial exhibits to visit,” she says. If you’re bringing little ones for the day of excitement, rest assured that the festival
prides itself on being family-friendly. “We have two baby changing tents, which provide supplies when those unexpected accidents happen,” says Bramer. “And the rides appeal to kids of all ages.”
Arts & Crafts & More!
While peaches may be the star, the arts & crafts vendors bring an extra element of interest to the Winona Peach Festival. “Each year brings new people and old favourites,” says Bramer. “This year, we have a person who paints skateboards, turning them into arts & crafts, and Boulder Design is coming from Texas.” Boulder Design, a new festival sponsor, creates custom-made boulder décor. Look for their donated piece sporting the 50th Anniversary logo of the Winona Peach Festival!
The festival also features a delicious array of live entertainment. Kick up your boots on Friday for Country Night, with Apollo’s Crown and David Boyd Janes, and enjoy entertainment for the whole family on Saturday with ED Smith Fun Factory. Finally, make sure to stick around for the Saturday night headliner, who originally hail from Winona, LITEYEARS.
Volunteers / Superheroes
The Winona Peach Festival is entirely run by the generosity of volunteers, many of whom return for generation after generation. And the efforts of these volunteers go right back into supporting the community, says Bramer. “We are an umbrella for eighteen community sports, church, and service clubs,” she says. “The churches put their money back into the community through various programs; the sport clubs use their money to help keep participation costs down; and the service clubs support local schools, teams, and community events.” Supporting the local economy, community groups, and family tradition is what the festival is truly about, says Bramer.
There’s a little something for everyone at the Winona Peach Festival, which is why it has become such a strong local tradition. “After fifty-one years, we are always excited to see that so many people include the Winona Peach Festival as part of their family tradition,” says Bramer. We think that’s just peachy!
by Emily Bednarz