A unique idea will soon be put in motion to help fund one of Winchester’s most beloved local events. The new A&W franchise location in Winchester will have its Grand Opening on July 4, and from that point until the end of Dairyfest on August 7, the restaurant will host a fundraiser to help keep the festival alive.
The concept of the fundraiser is simple. Using a special coupon – which is appended to this article and can be cut out for use – the purchase of a Teen Burger at the Winchester A&W location will result in a donation of 50 cents to Winchester Dairyfest.
While the fundraiser will help raise much needed funds for the popular festival, the coupons also serve another purpose. “The idea is to create a buzz for Dairyfest in the community and getting our staff engaged in the community event,” said Kanwar Hazrah, owner of Winchester’s A&W franchise. “It wasn’t a difficult choice for us to promote Dairyfest. We are in the middle of a farming community, and we are in a dairy area. Dairyfest is one of the best organized festivals in the area where even the street light pillars and trees are painted with a cow face. We strongly believe in giving back to the community and participating in uplifting the community.”
Winchester Dairyfest has been a staple of the North Dundas community since it was created as part of the town’s centennial celebrations in 1988. Like many community events, the festival did not run in 2020 or 2021. However, while many events were put on hiatus during these years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dairyfest would likely not have run in these years regardless. This is because the event is run entirely by volunteers donating their time, and there simply weren’t enough people willing to take on such responsibility.
In January of this year, the still-active Dairyfest committee came to a unanimous decision that 2022 would see the return of the festival. Community members were realizing that the loss of the festival meant the loss of an important piece of community identity – one so important to Winchester that signs identifying the town as “Home of Dairyfest” are placed at the south and east entrances. It would appear that a threat to community identity was all the motivation needed to inspire proud North Dundas residents to pull up their socks, and revive Dairyfest.
In January, it was announced that this year’s festival would be smaller-scale than in previous years due to predicted pandemic restrictions. However, with the pandemic now in its endemic phase, the planning may take a different direction. Winchester Dairyfest will run August 6 and 7.