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Bound to be a great time

LET'S CELEBRATE: The 43rd annual Binder Twine Festival takes to the streets of Kleinburg Sept. 12. (Vaughan Today file photo)

KLEINBURG – The city’s favourite mouse is on his way back into Kleinburg and he’s bringing his big ole ball of twine.

The 43nd annual Kleinburg and Area Binder Twine Festival — represented by its logo of a mouse in a bundle of twine — is set to transport revellers to a simpler time on Sept. 12.

Though the festival is today a celebration in the city featuring food and fun of all sorts, its roots lay in the agricultural ways of 19th-century farmers.

“It all began in 1847 when John Kline, a Swiss watchmaker, built a mill on the Humber River and a community was born,” Binder Twine Committee chair Tim Arnott said in a statement.

The local economy grew to service the agricultural needs of the area.

Charlie Shaw’s hardware store was an important autumn stop for farmers needing twine to bind their sheaves of wheat before mice could do too much damage. The annual trip to Kleinburg for twine became a festive occasion.

By 1931, the festival faded to a mere memory. But in 1967, a small group revived the tradition.

The volunteer-run fest has since grown into a large outdoor craft show and sale with food booths, entertainment, a kid’s area, an old tyme fashion show, a parade and old tyme fun — log sawing, watermelon seed spitting, stilt walking and the Shave-the-Farmer event.

Then, of course, there’s the Queen Contest, which pits young ladies against each other in competitions of hog calling, cow milking, pancake flipping and nail hammering.

Musical performers set to entertain festival-goers this year include Dave Hoy’s Honky Tonk Piano, Taylor Made Trio, York Region Pipes and Drums and fiddle superstar Ashley MacIsaac.

Binder Twine festivities kick off Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. Admission is free for all in pioneer garb. For everyone else, entry is $7 for adults, $5 for youth and seniors, and $2 for kids 2–12. Parking is $2. The site is wheelchair accessible.

Vaughan Today
In print: September 4, 2009, page 7
Online: September 8, 2009 [link]