MANITOULIN – The sixth edition of Harvest Glory Days, The Expositor-sponsored event designed to get the Island decorating in the fall/harvest theme, has been judged.

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The idea has been to set up a friendly rivalry among communities and to recognize the ones that go furthest to decorate in the theme involving public buildings and properties, homes, businesses and institutions.

Some Island communities have evolved local champions and these are the places that tend to be recognized with the prize: a large sign that testifies to the community spirit of the place, for the particular years that they have achieved this recognition in the Harvest Glory Days friendly forum.

Some, like Manitowaning, have gone through, as of this year, undefeated and so their sign (which is posted facing Highway 6 at the tourist information booth) has had a second deck added to accommodate all of the town’s commendations which, including 2018, now numbers six.

Manitowaning is the winner in the ‘large town’ category and there has been all-over buy in there right from the announcement of the first event five years ago.

This year, Gore Bay has made a real effort to give Manitowaning a run for the prize as there was a noticeable stepping up of decorating throughout the town. If there was a prize for best new idea it would have to go to Gore Bay for making all the downtown garbage containers into pumpkin planters, complete with cheerful wooden painted pumpkin folk art and the leaves of many green vines.

Gore Bay is the runner-up in the large town category. Little Current and Mindemoya have done good work in decorating public places.

In the small community category, Silver Water is once again the winner with honourable mention awarded to Spring Bay, the town that won the title the first year of the event.

Silver Water’s residents have almost all decorated their homes and yards. The United Church’s décor is even deer-proofed with an electric fence and the town’s sign is a tribute to the decorator’s art. This year, a second deck will have to be ordered to accommodate more accolades, similar to Manitowaning’s.

In the mid-sized towns category, there has been an upset in 2018 as the judges have determined that the village of Sheguiandah is this year’s winner with defending champion Providence Bay awarded honourable mention this year.

Sheguiandah has continued to decorate all the town’s street signs and there has been good buy-in from homeowners, particularly along the Townline Road side of the community.

The Bass Creek fish viewing platform is ablaze with whimsy that echoes the spirit of the season and there are several displays at the Centennial Museum and at the Batman Mill.

Providence Bay’s centerpiece is the Village Square and is well worth a visit and the nicely decorated hydro poles leading into the town centre from both directions draw visitors to the Square.

Mike Addison, executive director of LAMBAC, remarked to an Expositor staff person recently that every year now there are more harvest-themed decorations both in the towns and in the countryside.

The Expositor is pleased to sponsor and encourage this seasonal decorating, making Manitoulin more scenic at this special time of year, with its narrow window of spectacular colour courtesy of Ma Nature, both for local citizens and Island visitors to enjoy.