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Petawawa steps back in time with annual Settlers Festival

By Christina Van Starkenburg

PETAWAWA - 

This weekend Petawawa took a step back in time for the fourth Petawawa Settlers Festival, which ran from Aug. 9 to 11. The theme this year was “Wheels in Motion,” to showcase the different types of vehicles that the settlers used.

“This year we choose 'Wheels in Motion' We choose that, because the men with the hit and miss and their trackers and that. And we thought that it would be really good to bring in the first gasoline motor driven things and the hit and miss engines, which a lot of people have never seen and they don't know how they work,” said Ann McIntyre the President of the Petawawa Heritage Village.

In addition to the motorized wheels, they festival also had a covered wagon, a doctor's carriage and several other wheeled machines. Standing by to help explain the hit and miss engines were Stan Williams and Richard Kramer.

Some of the other volunteers, Sheila Clarke and Wayne Hoffman also re-enacted the last fatal duel in Ontario. The original duel took place on June 13, 1833 and it was between John Wilson (Clarke) and Robert Lyon (Hoffman). After going one round where the two men missed each other with the pistols, Wilson became the victor when he shot Lyon through the heart.

For those who were not able to be at the festival on Saturday at two o'clock in the afternoon to witness the duel there was other shooting fun to be had. The father and son duo, Ward and Morgan Wright, dazzled the crowd when Ward shot several balloons off of his son's body, including one that he shot behind his back by using a mirror to aim.

On top of those events, there was knife throwing, a drum circle, a market, fortune telling, school and a scavenger hunt among other things.

While people had to pay to attend most of the days, the festival was able to provide Friday's events for free because of the generosity of Building Communities Through Arts and Culture.

“We were able to provide the free event last night because of Building Communities Through Arts and Culture. They provided $3,000 this weekend to help with the weekend and that; cover some of our expenses, and that's nice,” said McIntyre.

Christina Van Starkenburg is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist.

c.vanstarkenburg@sunmedia.ca


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