By Adam Prudhomme
Geocachers from across North America will set their GPS coordinates for Lennox and Addington County on Aug. 19 for the Discover L&A County Mega Geocaching Event.
More than 1,000 visitors are expected to take part in the event, which sees participants use GPS devices or smartphones to hunt for treasures known as caches. The caches are hidden throughout the county and encourage the treasure seekers to explore the area in search of their prize.
“This year we’re pushing the 150 Canada theme,” said Joe Tisdale of the L&A County Geocachers who works with the county to help organize the event. “All the geocaches that are being hidden for the event, and we’re hoping for over 100, all have a Canadian theme to them.”
Prior to the main event the county has arranged a number of bus tours for visitors and locals to explore some local businesses and attractions. The ‘Discover L&A Stargazing Tour’ takes visitors to the L&A County Dark Sky Viewing Area on Aug. 16. They’ll be greeted by local stargazing enthusiast Joe Gilker and will receive a laser-guided tour of the night sky and telescope viewing. The ‘Discover L&A History Tour’ is on Aug. 17, and includes stops at the L&A County Museum and Archives, the Allan Macpherson House, and a visit to Camp Rathbun — a living history site that was an airfield for the Royal Flying Corps to train Canadian pilots to fight in Europe during the Great War. Later in the day is the ‘Discover L&A Hard Beverage Tour’. Participants will be visiting The Napanee Beer Company, Thirty Three Vines Winery, Bergeron Estate Winery, and MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company. Tickets to each of these bus tour are open to the general public and are available to purchase on the event website.
New this year will be a Water Cache Canoe Cruise, which takes place the Friday before the main event and allows for geocachers to rent canoes and kayaks and search for caches along the Sheffield Conservation Area, north of Erinsville.
Later that night, singer Andy Forgie will help officially open the event with a performance in Conservation Park. The community is invited (geocacher or not) to bring along their lawn chairs and enjoy the show as Forgie harkens back to the glory years of the signers/songwriters of the 1960s and 70s.
The main event will continue through Aug. 19, with a home base setup at Southview Public School as participants head out throughout the county in search of caches.
“We’re giving away a geocoin that has the Canada 150 flag on it,” said Tisdale. “We’re going to set up four caches for northern, southern, eastern and western Canada. They find the four caches and it’ll lead the to a hidden location where they’ll be able to get a coupon for a free coin that has the Canada 150 logo on it.”
As it has been for the previous four years, the event has been dubbed a ‘mega’ event because its expected to draw over 500 participants. People have checked ‘will attend’ from across Canada, as well as several US states and one family all the way from Norway.
“There’s three (mega events) in Canada, one eastern, one western and we’re in central,” said Tisdale. “It’s a pretty big accomplishment for a small little community like Lennox and Addington to have one of the top three largest events in Canada.”
For more on the event visit www.LandAGeocaching.com.