Dry Stone International Festival returns to Amherst Island this weekend

Participants at Amherst Island’s International Dry Stone Wall Festival this weekend will be able to participate in workshops wth leading wallers.

Sarah Williams
Beaver Staff

This weekend the Dry Stone Lodge on Amherst Island will be hosting the annual Dry Stone International Festival.

The event has been running for seven years.

Speaking to the Beaver in anticipation of this festival was Eric Landman, a board member for Dry Stone Canada and a waller from Southwestern Ontario.

“Amherst Island has a huge concentration of Irish dry stone walls. We were introduced to the area years ago by Andrea Cross and she made us aware of how many historical walls are here already, so we thought what better place to have a festival,” enthused Landman.

Though the event has been running for less than a decade, the stone walls that dot the countryside of Amherst Island have been there well over 150 years.

The all-weekend event is promoted by many who rely on dry stone walling as a living.

“We’re going to be restoring an old wall at the festival and then at the lodge we are going to be building a retaining wall that is curved. Then there’ll be a children’s event, so you can bring your kids and the children can participate, though they will be using smaller sized stones,” stated Landman.

Ken Curran, who travelled all the way from Ireland, will also be teaching a course on how to make a cob oven.

Landman explains that most years there are at least 100 participants, which doesn’t include the public that often will join in observation.

“They come from all over. We have a small group in southern Ontario but a lot of participants come from the U.S., Ireland, and Scotland,” stated Landman.

“For the public it costs nothing, but you can actually learn how to do it. If you wanted to come and learn how to build a stone wall, then there’s a cost,” added Landman.

For more information on this event, visit drystonecanada.com/festival-2019-sept-14-the-lodge-amherst-island-ontario/.

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