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Consecon Day celebrates community

Consecon Day participants sauntered through the village taking in the sunshine, supporting small businesses and groups and greeting their neighbours with smiles and small talk.

Story and photos by Sarah Law
Consecon celebrated its community last weekend with a day full of festivities and activities – but mostly a time to enjoy relax and enjoy what the village has to offer.

Saturday was Consecon Day – held annually on the first Saturday of the August long weekend, says community member Beverley Marr. She helped out with the used book sale, run by the Friends of the Ameliasburgh and Consecon Library.

Peggy Ritchie, Beverley Marr and Ted McDonald at the used book sale.

Marr lives just outside the village, and she says her favourite things about the area are the people and the climate, which is more suitable for her gardening than her previous location up north.

“The whole of Prince Edward County has a great feel about it,” she says.

Marr says the main attraction of Consecon Day is the soap box derby.

The ramps help competitors gain the speed they need to get to the finish line. The eighth annual derby hosts children up to age 16 who want to have the chance to be launched off a ramp to race down the Mill Street hill.

Spectators flocked to the shady spots and sat on the grass or on hay bales to watch the competitors steer their way toward the finish line, waved in by a black and white checkered flag.

The pylons helped prevent the racers from swerving into the wrong lane – though that didn’t stop some from being knocked over.

Many children used derby cars provided by the Ameliasburgh Ward 4 Recreation Committee, while others built their own with help from friends and family members.

Jacob Shephard, left, on his first-ever soapbox derby run.

First-time racer Jacob Shephard says he built his derby car with his Poppa.

“He’s retired now but he still likes to do some projects with me,” says Shephard.

“We bought some paint, went out and got some plywood and some wheels and then took a few spare parts from around. We got (Poppa’s) old racing steering wheel and then put it all together,” he explains.

Consecon Day was organized and run by the Consecon Area and Ratepayers Association, a group which manages community events that bring people together.

Ena Walton, the vice-president of CARA and owner of the small business Lavender Skye, says she moved to Consecon from Toronto 11 years ago – with no regrets.

Ena Walton sells lavender soaps, bath products, honey, tea and more.

“It’s a laid-back way of living. It’s a lot safer here, it’s a lot quieter, you get some land. My house is on an acre and a half, and that’s pretty much the standard here.”

Walton also described how Consecon is growing, a sentiment shared by others in the village.

“It’s growing for sure,” says Lionel Adair, a woodworker at Sandhill Farms.

He hosted a booth selling cutting boards, paddles and other wooden creations with detailed designs etched into the wood.

“There’s a lot of new people who have moved in from the city,” he says.

Lionel Adair has a sawmill and gets most of his wood from his own property, where he has ash, walnut and butternut trees.

Adair says he has lived in Consecon for most of his life.

“It’s probably one of the nicest areas in Ontario to live in,” he remarks.

On both sides of the library, which is in the former Holy Trinity Anglican Church, vendors lined the street selling their wares.

Families sauntered along the sidewalk, taking in the sunshine and greeting their neighbours with smiles and small talk.

Inside, two local authors sat at tables by the bookshelves talking to residents about their newest novels.

Kristin Basso says her book took two and a half years to write

Kristin Basso was selling a book she self-published about her mother, a pioneer in the furniture design industry and a fashion influencer.

Basso says her book took two and a half years to write and six months to format, create the cover and add other images.

“I’ve lived near Consecon for the 38 years we’ve had a farm,” says Basso. “I just love the County, I absolutely adore it. I love nature, and it’s just wonderful to see the seasons from the back of a horse.”

She says her favourite thing about the village “is the fact that it hasn’t really been discovered yet, and it’s so obvious. People just drive by this little jewel.”

Beside her was Susan Brannigan-Rampp, a writer and school principal who was promoting her fiction book featuring real places in and around the county.

“This is my writing oasis, because it’s just so peaceful and beautiful and the best place to be when you just want to get away from everything and relax and think, and not think, too,” she says.

Brannigan-Rampp was supported by her husband and son, who came to help set up her table at the library.

The family bought an A-frame house in Consecon, which she says is an outlet for her creativity.

“It’s only a matter of time before Consecon is widely discovered,” she says.

Heather Parsons set up a stall outside with her husband, who has a business called Turning Timber. He makes pens and other creations out of recycled wine barrels, while Parsons makes greeting cards. They came from Whitby, about an hour away from Consecon.

Heather Parsons and her husband, Ray Berry. Parsons is wearing an acrylic necklace made by her husband that diffuses essential oils

Parsons says she likes the small-town feel of the village but how it is still close to many central places.

Like many others, she says coming to Consecon is a way to escape the commotion of urban life.

“You’re transported to another time,” she says.

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