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Last Chance to Hit up the Amaranth Bale Trail!

Bumblebee Hay Bale Sculpture - Amaranth Bale Trail

Have you been through the Amaranth Bale Trail yet? There’s still a chance!

“To see all the artistic people we have living here,” said Mayor Bob Currie. “There’s not two remotely close…I’m really impressed!”

Those travelling throughout Amaranth or actively participating in many of the local community Facebook groups would have undoubtedly seen the artistic hay bale sculptures residents throughout the township have created. ToDo Canada even recognized the Amaranth Bale Trail as one of the top things to do in Ontario over Thanksgiving weekend. The map of the Amaranth Bale Trail shows approximately 50 bale sculptures, and some decided to participate despite not making it in time for publication. Councillors thanked township staff for devising and organizing the event, who are planning the Amaranth Bale Trail to be an annual occurrence. 

Pig Hay Bale Sculpture - Amaranth Bale Trail

“This brilliant concept was made by our Chief Administrative Officer Nicole Martin as her idea to promote tourism in the township,” Councillor Heather Foster told Dufferin News. Councillor Foster has been an avid promoter of the Amaranth Bale Trail on social media. “The work has been done by everyone in the office with Holly Boardman doing an incredible amount of work.”

Appointed as Amaranth’s CAO almost a year ago, Martin told how she had pitched the idea of the Amaranth Bale Trail to council during her interview for the role. Council had tasked applicants with coming up with an economic development concept that would benefit the township. Martin said the Bale Trail ticked off all the boxes from her perspective, including agritourism, on-farm diversified uses, and farm-gate sales. She said the intention was for people to stop and take a picture with their favourite bale structure while taking advantage of farm-gate sales throughout the township. 

“We had more than I had ever anticipated for the first year,” said Amaranth’s Chief Administrative Officer, Nicole Martin. “I had said to council beforehand, if we get a dozen, I’m going to be ecstatic.”

Dufferin News reached out to Amaranth’s CAO and asked what she thinks contributed to the high engagement and participation rates.

Laurel Woods Masked Bale Sculpture - Amaranth Bale Trail

“I think people wanted to have fun… get out and be cre-hay-tive… and now was the perfect time!” said Martin. “I think residents jumped at the opportunity to show that positive side to the township.” 

Martin said significant contributors to the Amaranth Bale Trail’s success were the work put in by township staff to help get the initiative off the ground and the local farmers who allowed the use of their hay bales. Martin said that the township even had people reach out with notice that they would donate bales if needed. Martin emphasized that it was a collective effort. She also hinted that there might be something in store for the winter, as observers have suggested a township-wide snow sculpture contest.

“It has created a lot of excitement throughout the municipality,” said Councillor Gail Little. “People want to check out the bales and find the trail, so I think that’s a great thing and I hope we will carry the tradition forward next year.” 

Crashed Bike Hay Bale Sculpture - Amaranth Bale Trail

Residents who entered the Amaranth Bale Trail had the opportunity to select a category. Martin said that the township would distribute prizes donated by local businesses to the winner of each class.

“It’s obvious its really caught on,” said Amaranth’s mayor. “I have no idea what we’re going to see this time next year.”

Mayor Currie thanked those who contributed hay bales to those participating in the Amaranth Bale Trail. Mayor Currie also said that the judging team had a tough decision ahead of them.

“A friendly competition never hurts,” said Nicole Martin. “I challenge every member of council next year, bring it.” 

The Amaranth Bale Trail is set to close on October 30. There is still time left to make it out and take advantage of farm-gate sales, in addition to many of the Halloween and fall events in Dufferin this weekend!

Deer Hay Bale Sculpture - Amaranth Bale Trail

References – Amaranth Bale Trail & Other Events Halloween Weekend

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