Apple Blossom Festival in Kawartha Lakes promises magical outdoor experience

By Roderick Benns

Apple Blossom Festival in Kawartha Lakes promises magical outdoor experience
Pauline Kiely with Monty. (Photo by Fred Thornhill Photography.)

There’s no reason to venture outside of Kawartha Lakes this May long weekend with an incredible new Apple Blossom Festival in full swing for the whole family.

Set on a beautiful old Irish farm called Dromoland (named after a castle in Ireland) in the Valentia-Little Britain area, Dromoland is “our own little castle,” according to owners Pauline Kiely and Michael Bryant.

With the help of arborist students from Fleming College, Kiely and Bryant have revived a heritage organic apple orchard.

“When these majestic trees bloom it is a pleasant, natural experience to just sit and drink in the harmony of nature, especially while the bees and pollinators are working away,” says Kiely.

The property borders a mature cedar forest where they have created “an enchanting fairy forest trail.”

“For the past four seasons, Michael and I have witnessed our 150 year old trees and land come to life on the May long weekend,” Kiely says.

They have been working on building the venue for these past four years, and now feel prepared to share it with the public May 19-21, the Victoria Day long weekend.

Mature gentle horses and ponies offer entry-level trail rides, and the public response, especially from children, has been overwhelmingly positive, says Kiely.

“We’ve witnessed miracles in children with special needs as they really respond to the animals and positive energy here,” she says.

Dromoland and its apple blossom festival “isn’t just for children with special needs though, because we feel all children are special, and they are all dealing with something,” Kiely says.

She describes Dromoland as “an oasis, a break from electronics, where everything is alive and real. It’s like soul food.”

The simple acts of feeding chickens, listening to the birds, blowing bubbles, riding, petting or feeding a horse, are proving very positive and healing.

“This healthy, safe environment seems to be what people are craving these days as we are humbled by the wonderful responses we are having and the growth we’ve experienced,” Kiely says.

Attractions at the Apple Blossom Festival:  

  • Rides on the Town Trolley car
  • Horse and Pony Rides
  • Children’s Craft Area – Kite flying – Giant bubbles
  • The Bee Doctor – Beekeeping, Beeswax Candles, Organic Fertilizer
  • Live Music – Boots of Hazard
  • Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) Demonstrations (Sunday) with Lacey Piper
  • Blue Moon Leather Crafts – Jesse Blue Forest
  • Kawartha Mediums – readings, meditations, spiritual insight and healing
  • Anna’s Pies & Sweets
  • Thirty-One Bags – purses and handbags
  • Various local authors and artists
  • Gridley’s Natural Herbs and Soaps
  • Farm to table, BBQ burgers, and sausages, home made apple crisp and apple cider

The Apple Blossom Festival is a casual community event where all ages are welcome.

“It is simply about bringing people together to embrace, welcome, and celebrate spring,” says Kiely. Entry is just $5 per adult and children are free. Hours are 9 am to 9 pm on Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday and Monday. Vendor tables are by donation.

The Apple Blossom Festival is held at Dromoland Orchard and Stables, located at 598 Elm Tree Road, Little Britain, ON, K0M 2C0.

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