Penetang – Fiddlin’ and Dancin’
by John McCulloch
The summer Citroen Autoclub Canada excursion was to Penetang to attend the Huronia Old Time Fiddlin’ and Step Dancin’ Contest. Members congregated Saturday morning, July 7, at La Piccola Rosa Deli at Highways 7 and 27. You had to hand it to Lorne Vineberg for finding a great bakery with the best croissants and espresso in town with the most reasonable prices possible.
Following our “fuel up,” we set out on Highway 27 heading to Passero’s Antique and Collectibles shop just east of Schomberg. As it happened, there was a police investigation of a car accident south of Highway 9. As a result, we had to stop short of Passero’s and park by the side of the road. Because of the road closure, the trip was detoured south and around the accident scene up to Highway 9.
After a half hour of driving, Krystyna’s Mazda Precidia broke down and brought the trip to a halt south of Cookstown. As Thomas Magnum used to say, I know what you’re thinking…. Despite the delay, the mood of the group remained upbeat and positive. While George, Victor and Prakash examined the Mazda’s motor, Angela and Krystyna passed out snacks. Chris, Steve, Lorne and I were doubled over at the side of the road from some of Lorne’s hilarious stories. The group got back together when the tow truck arrangements were complete, and we resumed our trip.
Around two o’clock, we arrived in Penetang and immediately headed for the historic Saint James-on-the-lines Church. Lorne gave us an explanation of the background of the church and then lead us to the bed and breakfast where we met up with Dave and Penny Innes from Sudbury. Once everyone was settled into their quarters, the group drove to the Military Establishment for photos by Georgian Bay. From there, shopping in “downtown” Penetang was the order of the day. Retail therapy made us hungry, and a Dock Lunch overlooking Georgian Bay was the answer. Because the sky was somewhat overcast, all of the outdoor tables on the terrace were available, so everyone got a prime spot to chat and eat.
The Huronia Old Time Fiddlin’ and Step Dancin’ Contest was a real hit. It is amazing how many talented musicians there are, from the youngest to the oldest performers. The Contest ended some time after 1 A.M. Sunday, and Club members, as well as fiddlers, toddled off to bed. Although Chris and I had to head south Saturday night, the Club members who stayed overnight enjoyed a two-hour breakfast, discussing Citroens with the hostess/owner of the bed and breakfast and ultimately taking her out for a spin in a few of the cars.
Despite vehicle breakdowns and poor weather, the best part of the Club becomes increasingly clear to me: The camaraderie, support and good humour of the members is what counts. After all, “homme propose, dieu dispose!” Thanks go to Lorne Vineberg from all the participants for his excellent preparation and documentation for this trip. By all measures, it was a resounding success!