Annandale National Historic Site is the place to be Saturday for free Turtlefest entertainment.
"We're very excited about 'Turtlefest On The Lawn,'" said Patricia Phelps, Manager of Culture and Heritage/Curator. "It's going to be a very fun, active, turtley fun day."
Traditional Turtlefest activities like turtle games (with prizes) and turtle crafts presented by ANHS, and face painting presented by Theatre Tillsonburg, are all returning Saturday, while supplies last from 10-3.
"We've always done those," noted Phelps. "The kids also love to find the turtles in the house - we like to call it a Turtle Find in Annandale House."
Prizes will be awarded to Turtle Find winners. And don't forget to test your guessing skills at the front desk (how many turtles can fit in the jar?) for a prize.
Providing a no-cost event was their goal, said Phelps
The Annandale Kindergarten Story Walk and Lemonade Stand also returns, 10-3. Have fun walking around the Annandale House lawn discovering the story of 'Mossy' by children's author Jan Brett, and ending the walk at the lemonade stand - donations are accepted. Proceeds from the Walk and Lemonade Stand go to playground equipment at Annandale Public School.
Laurel Beechey of Skunk Haven, a Turtlefest regular, and Carol Clark of Another Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation, will bring educational animals.
Children's book author Jan Everett will be reading her 'turtle tale' Never Give Up on the lawn 10-2.
"So we have a lot of old friends joining us and we have a couple of new friends that we're going to make," said Phelps, "to make Turtlefest even bigger On the Lawn on Saturday."
Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge, a wildlife protector, recommended by Turtle Haven Rescue Centre as a presenter of wildlife, is a new addition to Turtlefest On the Lawn.
"They will be bringing some tortoises as well other animals," said Phelps.
Henna by Alysha is another new attraction at Saturday. Show your turtle spirit by getting decorated with some turtle henna, 10-3.
"She has a turtle design that you can get done," Phelps noted.
The Yertle the Turtle Stacking Challenge and Stories, presented by Tillsonburg Public Library, will share turtle stories, test your stacking skills, and send you home with a (paper) turtle. Fill out a ballot for a chance to win 'turtley' awesome prizes.
The Tillsonburg Pioneer Performing Troupe, who last year introduced Queen Victoria to Turtlefest for Canada 150, are going above and beyond this year with Tillson Tales, Tillson Trails, and Pioneer Playground, 10-3.
'Tales' features a story time with Tillsonburg's founders. 'Grandpa George' and 'Grandma Tillson' will tell tales of settling Canada's 'frontier' almost 200 years ago, and the story that inspired Turtlefest, geared to children.
'Trails' involves a walk to 'where it all began' with a guide who will offer inside information on the founding family homes and businesses that put Tillsonburg on the map. Tours leave at 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30. Highlights include the Mill/Bonnie View, Hillside, the Tillson Block on Broadway, Harrison House, and 7 Gables, starting and ending at Annandale National Historic Site.
The Pioneer 'Playground' is all about fun and games - pioneer style. Discover some children's games that were popular in the pioneer era, 10-3.
Also new to Turtlefest on the Lawn, enjoy the Turtlefest Tea from 1-3 p.m. Join the Tillsonburg Retirement Centre and indulge your appetite with a turtle tea and treat, presented by Lifetime Living Inc.
On a good-weather day, Turtlefest attendance at ANHS can range from 700-1000 people over the five hours - and maybe more. They keep track of people who go inside Annandale House, but not people on the lawn.
"We like to organize things on the lawn at the museum for all families in our community," Phelps summed up. "So everybody come over and have some fun. Spend 15 minutes, spend and hour or more, it's up to you. We always like remind people that everything Saturday is 'while supplies last.'"