Kingsville Migration Festival turns 50

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The Kingsville Migration Festival is celebrating its 50th year with Canada geese and golden eggs for its golden anniversary this weekend.

The festival celebrates Jack Miner, dubbed the Father of Wildlife Conservation, and the Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary, which began in 1904, along with the town’s heritage and the fall migration.

“It’s kind of like the fall fairs and things that had a long-standing tradition in the community,” Maggie Durocher, manager of programs with Kingsville’s Parks and Recreation Department, said Thursday. “For any type of festival to be 50 years or more is certainly an accomplishment.”

More than 5,000 people usually attend the festival. This year’s golden anniversary festivities started Thursday with a kick off ceremony at the Pelee Island Winery and runs until Sunday afternoon with events around the town.

Businesses bought Canada goose decoys to dress up for the 50th anniversary and there’s a special golden egg hunt Sunday at the Jack Miner sanctuary, she said.


Colby Snoei holds a Great Horned Owl at the Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary during the 48th annual Migration Festival in Kingsville in 2017.

Dan Janisse /

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Friday there is a special musical presentation at 7 p.m. at the Jack Miner sanctuary and a theatrical presentation with Eric Hansen as Jack Miner in his one-man play at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

The popular parade is Saturday at 10:30 a.m. along Kingsville’s Main Street and Spruce Street before going south on Division Street to Park Street.

There are marketplace vendors at the Kingsville Arena Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

A variety of children’s events are featured at Lakeside Park Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., including a new children’s marketplace, golf disc/Frisbee throwing presented by Windsor Essex Disc Golf, pony and train rides, mini putt golf and face painting.

There are also events Sunday at the Jack Miner sanctuary including the Golden Egg Hunt at 10:30 a.m. where children who find the golden eggs get special prizes.

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