The Splash Floating Water Festival kicked off the first of four events geared at promoting awareness of protecting our regions lakes and forests. Now in its third year, the Splash Festival has grown into four free family friendly events each focussed on educating participants of the importance of connecting people with land, water, forests and food.
I attended the first event Moonapalooza at Sibbald Point Park in the Town of Georgina. It was a short drive up to Georgina which sits on Lake Simcoe. As the sun set on the lake the beating of bongo drums grew stronger as I approached the beach.
“Pick a Rock!” she said. I looked at the table before me and carefully chose my rock. Usually when you enter an event they ask you to pay a fee, but at Moonapalooza they ask you to pick a rock, decorate it and then carry it around with you so it can absorb the spirit of the night. At the end of the night they collected all the rocks in a treasure chest so that they can be used to create a labyrinth at the upcoming Beach Bash event being held at De La Salle Park on August 17th. The hope is that enough rocks will be collected to create the new art installation which will be placed at a Georgina Town facility that will be enjoyed by generations to come.
As participants entered the Moonapalooza area they decorated their rocks as the Shaw Percussion group started beating bongos to a spiritual beat. More and more members of the group arrived and the beat grew with the crowd. Everyone sat in picnic tables in a circle around the band and Kim of Shawanaga First Nations invited the crowd to walk the Labyrinth at the beach. One by one we all quietly walked the Labyrinth as Sharon played crystal glass like bowls making soothing sounds. It is believed that spiraling to the center of the Labyrinth refreshes and renews the spirit. As I walked several volunteers played different native instruments which made sounds of waves and other soothing water and nature sounds. It was a very calming and inspiring scene, adults and children all quietly moving around the paths of the labyrinth as one.
We made our way back to the picnic tables and the celebration turned back to music and dancing. Bongo drums were passed out to the crowd and everyone joined in the beat. Children danced in the center of the circle and Kim performed some native chanting. Kim spoke to the crowd about the importance of water to our bodies and spirits and to the earth which supplies our food. Water drops were placed in everyones hands and berries were passed out as a symbol of how water nurtures us and our environment.
The sun was long gone, but the party continued on. The crowd was even treated to two dance numbers by the Simcoe Contemporary dancers who danced with pillows celebrating nighttime and the moon.
Just as the dance and music started to wind down and people started streaming away, the full moon finally made its appearance amongst the trees. A perfect ending to an inspiring and spiritual evening.
The Splash Festival has three more events geared to connect us to the water, forests and food of the region. The Fantastic Forest Experience on July 27 at York Regional Forest, Brock’s Big Bite on August 11 in the Town of Beaverton along Main St. and the finale event the big Beach Bash on August 17 at De la Salle Park. For more information on the festival and its organizers visit www.SplashFestival.ca
Sharon M is a travel blogger and writer at DreamTravelMagazine.com an online travel blog based in Thornhill, Ontario.