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Binder Twine Festival in Kleinburg

Kleinburg’s Binder Twine Festival is held every September.  Back in the 1800’s, at harvest time in Vaughan Township, farmers would transcend on Kleinburg to buy twine for binding their sheaves of wheat.  To celebrate the harvest, Shaw’s Hardware Store provided entertainment and food for the farmers during their visit.  This annual tradition continued until the death of store owner Charlie Shaw in 1931.

In Canada’s centennial year, a group chose to revive the celebration to commemorate our nation’s 100th birthday.  The event was so popular and successful that the organizers and community decided to make the Binder Twine Festival an annual event.  Every September, food vendors, craft vendors and entertainers come together in Binder Twine Park in the village of Kleinburg to mark the occasion.  Just under 1000 volunteers contribute to the event’s success each year.

Binder Twine Park in Kleinburg, the festival’s host location each year, is wheelchair accessible.  Gates open at 9:00 AM on the day of the event and admission is free although donations are welcome and appreciated.  A donation of ten dollars earns you a commemorative Binder Twine apron or reusable tote bag.  Supplies are limited so do come early!

One highlight of the festival is the Binder Twine Queen Contest where young ladies, aged 16 and up compete in events such as hog calling, pancake flipping, nail hammering and cow milking.  The Binder Twine Queen’s first duty is drawing the winning raffle for the festival’s prize quilt. 

Thornhill Village Festival

When Vaughan Township became the Town of Vaughan in 1971, York Region split Thornhill Village in two along Yonge Street, the east side belonging to Markham and the west side belonging to Vaughan.  By 1977, The Thornhill Village Festival was first organized to celebrate Thornhill’s two sides being united by Yonge Street rather than divided.  The festival receives funding from City of Vaughan and City of Markham as well as sponsorship from local businesses such as Thornhill Golf & Country Club.  The Thornhill Village Festival promotes the heritage of Thornhill as an integral piece of the development of Vaughan Township as well as celebrating the many diverse cultural heritages of the people that now live in Thornhill and throughout Vaughan.

Woodbridge Fair

The Woodbridge Fair began as tradition in Pine Grove back in 1847.  The owner of Pine Grove Mill, John Gamble organized the first event on his property at harvest time to bring together the farmers, residents and business owners of Vaughan Township before winter.  The second year, in 1848, the Woodbridge Fair was hosted by the owner of Woodbridge Agricultural Works, John Abell.  This company manufactured stage coaches, farm equipment and horse-drawn steam engines for use in Vaughan Township and beyond.  That year, the fair was moved to Burwick, which is now the area along Woodbridge Avenue in Vaughan.  Abell served the Woodbridge Agricultural Society as president from 1860-86.