The Binder Twine Festival

Posted : September 4, 2014

Our blog is chock full of great ideas for fun things to see and do in York Durham and Headwaters. We are always adding new content and updating old posts, but sometimes you might stumble upon something from our vault. If this article has inspired you to hit the road, be sure to double-check that the featured stops in this post are still welcoming visitors.

The Binder Twine Festival, held annually the first Saturday after Labour Day in Kleinberg, Ontario, located just outside of Vaughan, marks the beginning of the harvest fair season across Southern Ontario.
The Origins
The Binder Twine Festival originated in the 19th century, when farmers would come into the communities for twine to bind sheaves of wheat. An owner of a hardware store, Charlie Shaw, offered food and entertainment to those farmers, and so the Binder Twine Night Festival was established. The festival disbanded after Charlie Shaw’s death in 1931, but was revived in 1967 alongside several Canadian Centennial celebrations and has been a successful event ever since!
Festival Activities
The festival includes many community activities that promote arts, heritage, and culture throughout the Kleinberg community.
The Binder Twine Queen contest challenges contestants to prove their skills in activities such as cow milking, log sawing, and hog calling. One of the activities of the contest is kept secret until the day of the festival so contestants cannot practice it beforehand. Contestants wear costumes and don props, which are often live animals. This contest often shamelessly spoofs the traditional beauty pageants and is a popular feature of the festival. The winner’s first duty as Binder Twine Queen is to announce the winner of the Quilt Raffle.
The Quilt Raffle is an annual feature of the Binder Twine Festival. Every year, a handmade quilt is displayed in the town and the lucky raffle winner will be able to take it home at the end of the festival! This year’s quilt is displayed at the Kleinberg Pharmacy.
Besides these major events, you shouldn’t miss out on the parade, old time re-enactments, pioneer costumes, and craft booths.
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection sponsors the art activities at the festival, supporting Canadian art throughout the festival.
While admission is $8 for adults, if you come dressed in pioneer clothing, in keeping with the festival’s spirit, you can enter for free!
Learn more about the event from their Facebook Page!

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