Message from the Chair
Happy 40th Birthday, Ancaster Heritage Days!
In 1979 two incredible women put time and effort into starting what has become the premier event of the Ancaster community. Bette Fraser and Ann Sloat wanted to bring people together in a fun way, and 40 years later we’re still doing that. What a great legacy they have left us!
Our event highlights so much of what makes this town special: the history, the vibrancy, the beauty, and the people. Through all the years, Ancaster Heritage Days and A Village Christmas have happened because of a committed team of volunteers, a testament to the pride and spirit of the people of Ancaster.
We wish to thank all of our great sponsors who help to make this event a success each year. From marching bands in the parade, to KidsWorld, to insurance requirements…everything has a price tag. If you or your organization would like to join our sponsorship partners, please be in touch. We have an exciting sponsorship package that will offer your organization great ways to get noticed and involved.
A special thanks to our Title Sponsor, StoneRidge Insurance Brokers. This local business has been a proud and committed partner of Ancaster Heritage Days for the past three years.
Be sure to stay connected through the Ancaster Heritage Days website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed! We are always updating and expanding!
History of Ancaster Heritage Days
In 1979, Ancaster resident and shop owner, Bette Fraser, believed that people didn’t know each other well enough in the town, and came up with the idea for Ancaster Heritage Days. With the help of her friend Ann Sloat, Bette began planning a festival where the community could get to know each other and enjoy the sights and sounds of their beautiful town. That June, the first Ancaster Heritage Days kicked-off, and included the Old Mill race and a grand sidewalk sale. Within five years, Ancaster Heritage Days had become a tradition and grew in popularity. One of the early highlights was the Heritage Days parade, where curious onlookers would line Wilson Street, marveling at the antique and horse drawn carriages, police paddy wagons, bands, and other exciting performers from the area. Other events during the early years also included downhill bed races, spaghetti eating-contests, and the Heritage Days beauty pageant, where participants anxiously waited to find out who would be the next Heritage Princess. Since Bette’s first idea in 1979, Ancaster Heritage Days has become the high point in the annual events calendar in the area, and this year will be no different. From the parade to the fireworks display and everything in between, this multiple-day event has something for the entire family. Come out and celebrate Ancaster Heritage Days!
Check out Ancaster’s Kevin Dunn sing the Ancaster Heritage Days song! In honour of Ancaster’s Ann Sloat!
The Iris Blooms in time for Heritage Days
The purple iris has special significance to Ancaster. The Wild Iris, chosen by the town council many years ago, is Ancaster’s official flower. But in 1993, when the town celebrated its bicentennial anniversary, the local horticultural society went on a mission to introduce a newly cultivated flower that Ancaster could call its own. David Wadell, president of the Ancaster Horticultural Society at the time, took a short road trip to McMillen’s Iris Garden, where he found a young flower breeder looking to introduce a new iris creation. No other flower had the same features. However, the iris was nameless. Since this flower was going to be original to the community, the Horticultural Society involved the citizens in the naming process, and received hundreds of suggestions. The tall bearded iris, with ruffled, frosted blue standards, dark blue and violet falls, and a yellow beard took the name, Ancaster Blue Ruffle. These irises can be seen in abundance at Fieldcote Museum and they come into full bloom, right in time for the Heritage Days celebration!
Additional Resources for Ancaster
Numerous books on Ancaster and its history are available at the Ancaster Public Library as well as at Fieldcote Museum.