Clay Days, a four-day event recognizing the community’s bicentennial, was held this past weekend in Clay Township. Intending to “Remember, Honor, Celebrate,” the
community birthday celebration highlighting the history of the local region drew in visitors from surrounding counties, including Native Americans from Walpole Island as well as those from other Canadian provinces.
Each day of the event was a commemoration of the area’s rich history including its Native American influence. A Native American Pow Wow, a social gathering held sacred by indigenous people that typically involves music, singing, dancing, and socializing, was held and people in attendance were invited to participate in dancing and celebrating as well.
There was also food provided by vendors that featured traditional Native American dishes such as Three Sisters, whose ingredients include corn, beans, and squash. It has a texture and taste similar to that of tomato soup. They also had a rice and beef dish as well as the popular fry bread, which is made by frying a special dough that can be eaten plain or topped with ingredients of your choice such as cinnamon and sugar or veggies.
Vendors selling authentic handcrafted work such as jewelry and clothing were on display as well as artwork by local artists in an exhibit entitled “What These Windows Saw.” Using old windows as a canvas, the artists painted scenes involving activities or scenes tied to the history of the area.
There were exhibits such as The Voyager French & Indian Canoe with actors, Model T vintage cars, and more. Storyboards at the park told a unique story of a particular person or way of life from days gone by and several local bands performed over the weekend, including The Gobies, the Meldrum Brothers Band, and folk singer and historian Lee Murdock.
The last day ended with burying a time capsule filled with letters from local students and including messages to their future grandchildren and notes about what they think the world will be like when the capsule is opened 100 years from now.
To learn more about upcoming events in Clay Township, visit claytownship.org
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