Harvest Glory Days winners announced!

This scarecrow couple make up a fine affair in Mindemoya. The competion for top honours in the 2021 Harvest Glory Days was intense, however. photo by Alicia McCutcheon

How did your community’s efforts fair?

MANITOULIN – Thanksgiving weekend is coming up, the leaves on the deciduous trees are daily falling more and more into line with the season and showing their fall palette and communities around Manitoulin have once again responded to the Harvest Glory Days autumn-theme decorating challenge, sponsored and organized by The Expositor Office as a community service.

Many of them with spectacular results.

For folks who are out and about this week, on the weekend and over the next weeks as well, here are some individual (and collective) displays to look for.

In Rockville, the community hall grounds were diligently decorated a week ago by the community. It’s nicely done and the figure of a woman near the left front corner of the hall bears a remarkable resemblance to a former and long-time community member. The hall is located just past the famous “Rockvillle Road and Rockville Road” intersection.

In Sheguiandah, the home at the corner of the Townline Road and Highway 6, across from the Howland Seniors’ Hall, has gone all out and it’s a great display. There are several other excellent front yard displays along Townline Road.

Also in Sheguiandah, as usual, there is a wonderful display on Bass Creek in the vicinity of the fish spawning viewing station.

This year’s theme is “The Harvest Ball” and it clearly took a lot of both planning and execution.

By Batman’s Mill, there is a little shop: a scarecrow behind her counter specializing in fall produce, especially pumpkins.

Providence Bay is back! The whole community became involved this year and the results are spectacular.

Mindemoya’s scarecrows may not frighten away many crows, but these effigies are all over the community and many are themed to match the nearby environment: a bank robber flees the BMO, there’s a nurse and his patient near the hospital, there’s a couple getting hitched at the United Church, a fisherman at the government dock on Mindemoya Lake, and these are only a few. The businesses in Mindemoya did a good job of decorating and many homes as well.

In Manitowaning, a whopping 72 homes and businesses have registered as decorated.

The municipality got in on the act as well and created a giant sunflower at the downtown Queen’s Park using old tractor tires. There is also a very innovative display on Highway 6 at the home right across the road from the Christadelphians’ Hall and another one not to be missed is on Walcot Street.

Gore Bay’s downtown is nicely decorated again this year with fanciful sculptures and, throughout the community, many homes have risen to the challenge. One well-done example is on the West Bluff on Smith Street.

In Little Current, the Manitoulin Centennial Manor’s staff and volunteers have once again put together an excellent seasonal display for the benefit of Manor residents, their friends and family and the community. The downtown lamp posts have all benefitted from a harvesting of corn stalks and there are many homes that have taken the time to decorate.

Aundeck Omni Kaning always has a representative number of residences that decorate and so it is again this year.

Silver Water has once again come together with most homes in the hamlet showing their fall pride.

Spring Bay homes have done some decorating, but nothing like the first year of the Harvest Glory Days event when the entire community was involved, and every home, business and institution was aglow with fall colours.

The Harvest Glory Days event is a competitive one, in a friendly way, so here are the judge’s decisions.

Winning communities, if they qualify for the first time they receive a large highway sign attesting to the community spirit on display in their particular community.

Towns that have previously qualified for a sign receive another “leaf” for their sign indicating they have qualified again for 2021.

In the Large Community category, Manitowaning will be getting its ninth consecutive leaf, making it once again the place that can boast a winning way since the inception of Harvest Glory Days.

In the same category, Mindemoya has also been deemed a winner and will receive a 2021 leaf for the sign with which the community was first rewarded two years ago.

Gore Bay was a bit of a quandary for the judges. The downtown front street looked great but there was not much decorating on the part of the homeowners. The town will receive a 2021 leaf for the sign for which they qualified last year, with the hope that homeowners will become more involved for the 2022 event next year, the 10th anniversary of Harvest Glory Days.

In the Mid-Sized Community category, both Sheguiandah and Providence Bay will receive 2021 leaves for their signs. (In Providence Bay, the last leaf awarded was in 2017 so the community has clearly decided, as a whole, to get back in the game.)

And Providence Bay was impressive: the judges noted that homeowners were still adding touches on their displays. One lady said she had purposely grown lots of pumpkins of the large variety and then had doled them out to help neighbours’ displays and even the Providence Bay sign near the arena. Another couple was seen sprinkling blue jay feed, quite liberally, around their own display which is situated near Lake Huron Fish and Chips because the man said, “it’s quite something when all the blue jays come together to feed.” Adds action to the display.

Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation is being awarded an Honourable Mention in the Mid-Size Community category.

In the Small Community category, the honours once again go to Silver Water, another proverbial winner. Honourable mention in this category will go to Spring Bay.

For a list of addresses, by community, where individuals have registered the addresses of their decorated properties, please see page 16 and online at Manitoulin.com.

There is a representative array of photos of Manitoulin’s Harvest Glory Days participants on page 17. For more photos, view the gallery on Manitoulin.com.