Harvest Supper planned for Fall Fair to fight hunger & celebrate local food

Michael Freeman, manager Sackville Farmers Market

Michael Freeman, manager of the Sackville Farmers Market says he’s hoping town council will support plans for a Harvest Supper that could raise at least $1,000 to alleviate hunger and food insecurity.

In a presentation to town council on Monday, Freeman said the Farmers Market doesn’t need financial support from the town, but is asking council to extend the closure of the parking lot between Goya’s Pizza and the Post Office where the main tent will be set up during this year’s Fall Fair. He explained that the Harvest Supper would be held in the tent on Sunday, September 22nd, the last night of the fair.

“We want to have a 100 person sit-down harvest banquet to celebrate local food in Sackville,” Freeman said. “We think it’s really important to have a celebration of agriculture at the heart of the Fall Fair and the market wants to offer something to the community and do something that’s fun and brings people together outside of our regular market hours.”

Freeman presented a chart showing that the Harvest Supper would cost an estimated $4,530 with the money coming from ticket sales at about $30 each, a silent auction as well as grants from the provincial agriculture department, the Rotary Club and Renaissance Sackville.

He explained that the market hopes to raise at least an extra thousand dollars that would be donated to such groups as the local food bank, the Sackville Refugee Response Coalition and the food pantry at Tantramar Regional High School.

Freeman enthusiastically endorsed Mayor Higham’s suggestion that people who can afford to buy tickets for the supper could donate them to others who might need them.

“Yes, that is a lovely idea,” Freeman said.

Fall Fair activities

At its meeting next week, town council will be asked to approve a series of motions related to the 2019 Fall Fair, September 19 to September 22.

Matt Pryde, manager of recreation programs and events, said council will be asked to approve holding the fireworks display behind the Town Hall on Friday, September 20th, the same place as last year. He said it looks like the Town Hall will become the permanent location for the fireworks display.

Pryde said council will be asked to approve closing streets for the Fall Fair parade which would start, as it did last year, at the Drew Nursing Home and follow Main Street to Bridge, then Bridge to Lorne, ending near the Via Rail Station.

When Councillor Shawn Mesheau suggested it might be better for visitors if the parade followed the old route which passed by the Town Hall and through residential areas rather the more industrial setting on Lorne Street, Pryde responded that there had been few complaints about the new route aside from the lack of shade on Lorne. He added that the town is looking at ways of providing more shade and may place hay bales along Lorne for people to sit on.

However, Pryde said the final decision on the parade route is up to council. “If you guys like the old route, the old route it is,” he said.

Council will also be asked to approve a $3,000 contribution toward Family Day at the Doncaster Farm as well as extending exemptions from the noise bylaw to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights for the musical acts that are booked in the tent until 12:45 a.m.

Councillor Mesheau pointed out that the exemption used to be until midnight and he wondered about the effects of the one-hour extension on older people in the downtown.

Pryde responded that one band did play past 1 a.m. last year and the town did get complaints, but otherwise, residents have understood that the noise exemption is for events that are held just once every year.

Chalk Festival

Later, Pryde said that council will be asked to approve holding the popular Street Chalk Art Festival on Bridge Street, August 23-24. The town has already allocated $15,000 in this year’s budget to support it.

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