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Gather for Spring, Sips and Suppers this May!

Even through the rain, May is a month of rebirth, blooming, and renewal. Whether the start of May is celebrated by observing May Day, Beltane, or dances around the Maypole, this is a time when flowers share their blossoms with us and remind us to hug our mothers just a bit tighter. 

A great way to get outside and enjoy the weather is by bringing the family to Second Marsh to walk along the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve Trails. Located right in Oshawa, Second Marsh is 137 hectares of coastal wetland. According to their website, “The combination of Second Marsh with the adjacent areas of McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve and Darlington Provincial Park represents nearly 400 hectares, one of the largest publicly accessible waterfront spaces available in the Greater Toronto Area. It is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario in a major urban centre and is unique in being the largest remaining wetland in the GTA.” 

A glimpse of the beach at Darlington Provincial Park
A glimpse of the beach at Darlington Provincial Park

It is a real gift to live so near to this natural treasure. While walking along the wetland, there will surely be many exciting birds migrating back from their southern hibernation. As Oshawa is likely a central flyway for this aviation celebration, hikers may see loons, orioles, and more. It is vital to support non-profit groups like Friends of the Second Marsh, which are dedicated to preserving Oshawa’s natural plants, animals, water, and lands. Fun for the family comes in the form of a beautiful morning walk in Oshawa to welcome the birds back home. 

If you can, consider working alongside the Friends of Second Marsh, supporting their efforts to keep Oshawa a beautiful, healthy city, and volunteering for their Mustard Garlic pull on May 11. 

We can do so much to show our thanks and respect to the critters who make our favourite foods and drinks possible. After bird watching and pollinator planting, enjoy the fruits of that labour with high tea. On May 11 and 12, treat mom to a Mother’s Day Tea at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. Catered by Farm+Wild, this event is $55 for adults and $28 for kids under 12. The prix fixe menu offers mouth-watering delicacies such as roasted chicken on brioche, mini quiche with gruyere, buttermilk scones, blueberry lemon compote, spiced vanilla chai petit four cakes, and more. Owned and operated by Chef Daniel Bresca, who has 27 years in the industry, Farm+Wild “uses only the freshest ingredients, including locally sourced whenever possible.” 

A sneak peek of Farm And Wild's delicious offerings
A sneak peek of Farm+Wild's delicious offerings

After a beautiful brunch with the family, be sure to take in the exhibitions on now at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. Featuring work from artists such as Tony Romano, Painters Eleven, and Raechel Wastesicoot, the opportunity to treat mom to good eats and good art happens all Mother’s Day weekend at the RMG. 

We have more deliciousness to thank our insect friends for this spring. The annual Durham Craft Beer Festival is back on Saturday, May 11. Under local management since 2021, the celebration of Ontario’s craft beer is here to give us a taste of the flavours that give us many anticipated spring and summer elixirs. Last year, over 60 vendors from around Ontario (Kitchener to Kingston, Collingwood to Prince Edward County) offered us their craft beer, cider, and liquor. 

Some of my absolute favourites, including Oshawa’s Brew Wizards and Whitby’s Little Beasts, will show up and show out. For those of us 19+, the Durham Craft Beer Festival website boasts, “Featuring local entertainment and local food vendors, the Durham Craft Beer Festival supports local while introducing some of the best Ontario craft brewed beverages.” Tickets to the indoor event are $37.22 plus taxes. Get your tickets here

Brew Wizards
Brew Wizards is a haven for craft beer enthusiasts and board gamers alike

Be sure to bring your empties to the festival! Support “Cans for Change” as “retired teacher Bob Giulietti” (known on Instagram as @Oshawabeerguy) “operates Cans for Change to support the Durham Black Students Network. There will be a special drop-off point at the parking lot entrance on your way to enjoy many great samples of Ontario Craft Beer. You can make a difference; one can at a time!”

I am so proud of the community this city can bring together. May is indeed a time to gather for some sips and some supper. I hope to see you at these local events. Let’s enjoy ourselves responsibly while helping to support those who support us. 

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