Merrickville is going to the Goats on Saturday, September 23, for the fourth annual Harvest Goat Carnival. The festival, which has been held on Stephen Fuller’s family farm in Newmanville for the past three years, is an event that brings people together to celebrate local food, art and music. The tag line for the Carnival is “Music, Market, Moot” – with “moot” being explained as the exchange of ideas and creativity that will characterize the event.
Stephen says they are bringing the carnival to the Merrickville Fairgrounds this year because they wanted to bring the festivities to a wider audience. “In order to comfortably put something out to the public, we needed it to be in a more formal place,” he says. The community group, Merrickville Goes Green, have been huge supporters of the project and people have been popping out of the woodwork, wanting to help in some way.
The theme of the goat represents the spirit of the carnival, which celebrates agriculture, energy, and the free flow of ideas. For last year’s event, a few people came together to create a 6-foot-tall goat that served as the festival’s mascot. This year they hope to create an equally impressive effigy to add to the collection. “If the festival keeps going, we may have a whole herd of goats,” Stephen says.
Because it is a carnival, people are encouraged to come to the event in costume, not just as goats, but as anything they feel is relevant to them and the theme of the festival. There will definitely be some representation of Merrickville’s history to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, as well as a homage to one of Merrickville’s key players, Harry McLean. People are also encouraged to B.Y.O.G – Bring Your Own Goat.
A hearty harvest dinner will be served using local produce and prepared by a local chef. There will also be a guest chef from Montreal who will serve up some traditional African BBQ. Plenty of music and entertainment for the whole family, as well as unique workshops, presentations and skill-sharing activities, are all part of the program.
The plan is to have most of the activities centred in the baseball diamond on the fairgrounds, but the Community Centre will be available for back-up in case of rain. The event will run from 10 am-11 pm, tickets are $20, and kids under 16 are free. For tickets, or more information, go to www.harvestgoatcarnival.com.