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Around the World Multicultural Tour

Carol Law
by Festival Nomad Correspondent, Carol Law

Around the World...

The Around the World Multicultural Tour in Newmarket this weekend truly offered festival goers a trip "around the world". I started my journey at the Farmer’s Market, which is held every Saturday from May through Thanksgiving, at the town offices. The market is a feast of colours, sights, sounds, aromas, friends, and of course, food. Being near the Holland Marsh, the local produce is fresh picked, often the morning of the market. Now that’s a 100 mile treat!

Farmers' Market...

From the Town Offices you can walk the boardwalk and forest trail along the Nokiidaa Trail on the east side of the Holland River. On the boardwalk I stopped to visit with two couples, one from Minnesota and one from Australia. Both commented that they had just been to and enjoyed the “unique” festival at Fairy Lake. They were thrilled that a local farmer’s market awaited them down the path, where they could have a great lunch in a beautiful setting. The trail leads you to Fairy Lake where festivals are held almost every weekend from spring through fall as well as a couple in the winter months. What a treat to be able to have such a venue to walk through to visit a farmer’s market and a festival almost every weekend. Visitors to the market and festivals often bring along their dogs. Dogs on leashes are always in abundance and are welcomed with water bowls at the market and first aid station.

The Tour...

The Around the World Multicultural Tour festival was a one day event that truly would take a whole day to enjoy. Exhibitors representing countries from all over the world offered specialty food, shopping, and conversation. They were keen to share information about their country and how they celebrate their culture in Newmarket.

There were three stages to watch dancing, music and demonstrations at and as all three were busy at the same time it was hard to decide where to visit! Newmarket has a large traveling community stage trailer complete with lighting and sound system so the presentations on this stage were very professional and easy to listen to. The chatter of people enjoying and sharing was all around in the large crowd. People were greeting neighbours and meeting new friends as everyone joined in to celebrate the diversity that makes Newmarket such a rich community to live in.

Within a short time I had seen dancers from Indonesia, China, Bali, Holland, and Australia. I had sampled samosas, curry and dumplings. There were churches and synagogues, cultural clubs, and groups that support the community such as the Lions Club, Salvation Army, and St. John Ambulance participating in the Around the World Multicultural Tour festival. The activities I enjoyed covered about 3 kms from the Farmer’s Market to the heart of town, at the end of the Fairly Lake exhibition area, where I stopped to watch an Organ Grinder with an authentic hurdy-gurdy.

The Trail and Then Home..

From there I enjoyed a 3 km hike along the Tom Taylor trail to within a block of my home. The Tom Taylor and Nokiidaa Trail are part of a trail system that is over 32 km long. Nokiidaa means “walking together” and the Around the World Multicultural Tour gave the community a chance to not just walk, but celebrate together. The Trail connects to the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail and offers an oasis in a beautiful town that clearly should celebrate all that is has to offer by making the Around the World Tour Multicultural Tour festival an annual event.