The ever-popular pumpkin rolling contest sponsored by the Rotary Club of Haliburton is open to both children and adults. /DARREN LUM File photo

Colourfest 2018 celebrates autumn in the Highlands

By Amanda Duncombe-Lee

Special to County Life

Published Sept. 25 2018

One of Haliburton County’s most popular fall events is returning to Head Lake Park on Sept. 29.

The Colourfest Festival hosted by the Municipality of Dysart and the Haliburton Village Business Improvement Area has been an annual fall tradition in Haliburton County for a decade. The vibrant and celebratory local event which typically draws hundreds of people from the county and surrounding areas is open to visitors of all ages and features an impressive roster of free family-friendly activities.

This year’s scarecrow making contest run by the Haliburton Highlands Museum is open to individuals families and groups. There will be three categories this year – scariest most creative and best historical – with prizes donated by the BIA. Scarecrow building materials will be provided but participants are also encouraged to be creative and bring their own.

The ever-popular pumpkin rolling contest sponsored by the Rotary Club of Haliburton is open to both children and adults. Participants must register for this free event ahead of time and everyone gets to take their pumpkin home with them.

This year’s Colourfest also features horse-drawn wagon rides by Irvin Holland face painting by Fluffy Feet Face Painting a vintage display of 100 cars from Time Travellers RPM Pontoon Boat Rides a popcorn stand from the Lions Club and games from MacArt Studios. Visitors can also watch artists “Paint the Town” (hosted by the Rails End Gallery and Arts Centre) browse the ColourFest Market and enjoy live music by local artists. Compass Early Learning will provide children’s art and play activities.

A new event this year will be the Scavenger Hunt contest. Participating businesses will display pumpkins in their storefront windows for children to seek and find in exchange for prizes.

The fun starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday Sept. 29 and wraps up at 3 p.m. The busy day will end with a fall feast at St. George Anglican Church which will be hosting a delicious barbecue beef dinner (two sittings at 5 and 6:30 p.m.) Tickets can be purchased at Master’s Bookstore the parish office or at the door.

Andrea Mueller Dysart recreation coordinator has led a volunteer committee dedicated to organizing and planning the festival. Mueller said the original idea behind the event was to attract more people to the downtown core in the fall and bring business to the area.

“People really look forward to it every year” said Mueller. “There will be plenty of things for kids to do.”

The event hosts are looking for volunteers to help with Colourfest as well as market vendors. Volunteers and vendors can apply through Andrea Mueller (

More details and event schedules can be found on the Municipality of Dysart’s Colourfest webpage at