The first Matawatchan Picnic was held in 1886 as a fundraiser to build the first church in Matawatchan. This video was shot 100 years later in 1986. Sand-baked beans, big iron coolers of beef stew, salads and all the pies and desserts you can imagine were on the menu. The churchwomen did the baking. The cooks were men who had cooked in logging shanties and they brought their methods with them to the picnic.
The picnic continues to this day on the Saturday of the Canada Day weekend at the Matawatchan Hall, 1677 Frontenac Road, with the traditional horseshoe tournament, kids games and other fun. There is still no shortage of local musicians to entertain the crowds, but a BBQ has replaced sand baked beans. John Green is featured on the harmonica. Clayton Stewart cooked the beans with the help of Alan Pennock.
This video is produced by Mark Thomson (interviewing and seen briefly in the video holding a microphone). The video was shot in 1986 by a cameraperson Mark worked with at CBC Ottawa.