If you are from around here, you know that Wishart’s reputation as a party town precedes itself. Having moved here in 2000, I was able to catch the tail end of that historic fact. When I say tail end, I am talking about the community shakedowns where EVERYONE came out and partied. The last ‘great one’ was probably the provincial centennial celebration in 2005, where the party spilled out of the Hall and the bar and Main Street was alive with that old time momentum.
Since then, the population has dwindled, and while the car bingo’s, street dances, 24 hour bonspiels, and other celebrations have come to an end, there still remains one last vestige of it’s party past… Malanka! Every January the Ukrainian dance club hosts a Ukrainian New Years celebration that to this day, carries on the tradition of too much food and an epic cabaret. The atmosphere is like a rural wedding from the 70’s, where everyone is having a great time. From the young ones owning the dance floor during the balloon drop, to the babas and gidos tapping their toes as they take in the acrobatics during the kolomenka. It is a final glimpse into the old time parties that were rural tradition all through the 20th century.
Luckily for you, the spirit of the Wishart Hall is infused into the Honey, Garlic & Pie Fest as well!
While the crowd is more diverse then the local crowds of the past, with people showing up from all around the province, that same buzz of excitement and anticipation is present when the doors open at 5 pm. This is the fourth time we’ve hosted this event, and no one has ever left hungry or disappointed. The food has always, and will continue to be, homegrown and wholesome, and certainly one of the best meals you’ve had all year! The band is carefully chosen to provide excellent entertainment value, and to leave you feeling like you’ve witnessed something special. Having had professional acts like Fred Eaglesmith and The Dead South on the Wishart stage has truly been memorable.
While there are certainly logistics involved being tucked in the middle of no where, on an island of grid roads, with no accommodations to speak of, it is an adventure worth exploring. Whether you decide to camp, or make the trek home afterwards, it will be worth the effort. I mean, once you’ve been stuffed full of delicious grinds, and shook your booty off, strolling back to your tent under a starry, silent night sky will seem like a luxury. No cab to hail, no DD to arrange. Just a nylon screen to open and close behind you before falling exhausted, full, and possibly tipsy into your sleeping bag. Sounds Dreamy. See you there.