Home County opens on a weather-perfect night

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Welcome home, again.

The annual Home County Music and Art Festival opened up to folk music, food and artisan lovers on Friday night and — paired with the great weather — did not disappoint.

A steady stream of patrons perused artisan stalls along the pathways at Victoria Park.

Toting canvas bags to hold whatever treasures they found in one hand and lawn chairs in the other, Londoners were ready to enjoy their evening at the city’s longest-running music festival.

“We are all Home County,” said festival chair Bob Klanac as he welcomed festival-goers and musicians before the music kicked off.

This year, the festival marks 44 years and was awarded a special certificate to commemorate its time in London from London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos.

Darren Addison, Home County’s artistic director also took the time to note that many of the talent that will perform throughout the weekend are women.

“We’re really proud of that,” said Addison.

But the party really started when the Indigenous fusion band Tribe of One took the main stage.

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Filling the audience with thunderous drum beats that shook speakers and got toes tapping, the band mixed Indigenous sounds from cultures around the world and had onlookers smiling and grooving to the tunes.

Steph Janukavicius is a vendor from Montreal with a company called Earth to Body. He also happens to be a musician and said he chooses to sell his skincare products at Home County rather than at other festivals because it’s a great way for him to enjoy the music too.

“I’ve been selling at this festival for a few years now,” said Janukavicius. “I just really like the music.”

Anna Vilanova and Theresa Adams-Barrick are London locals who have been coming to the festival for many years now. They always look forward to the music and vendors and said they love finding unique, local products that can’t be bought anywhere else.

“I really like looking at the crafts that everybody brings out,” said Vilanova. “Why not come out and support them?”

Adams-Barrick said that having different music to listen to while they browse through stalls is one of her favourite parts of the festival.

“There’s just this ambiance to it,” said Adams-Barrick. “It’s nice so that as you’re here looking you listen to something different throughout the whole weekend.”



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