150th Anniversary Celebration for Crystal Palace in Victoria Park

On September 20, 1860, Hamilton’s very own Crystal Palace was opened by Queen Victoria’s son Edward. The palace was a beautiful but fragile structure of wood and glass, modelled after London, England’s 1851 building of the same name. Hamilton’s palace stood for a scant 30 years–but during its day it played host to tens of thousands of area residents. Now it is simply a memory, kept alive through photographs and storytelling…and a big 150th birthday party this September 19.

Join us for music, dancing, games and reminiscences of Victoria Park’s beginnings. The event will be emceed by Hamilton historian Bill Manson with readings by Hamilton authors Murray Aikman and John Terpstra. Hear stories about the grand opening of the Provincial Agricultural Fair, an event that attracted not only Prince Edward, but approximately 50,000 others to the park that fall day 150 years ago. Learn about the annual Great Central Fairs, the cannons and army barracks that set up shop on the grounds, the elaborate Confederation Day and Queen’s Jubilee celebrations…and find out what the heck a mangel wurtzel is.

Free lemonade, birthday cake and sweet potato fries (the latter courtesy of Rolly Rocket’s, currently operating out of the original tavern from the days of the Crystal Palace)!

Come early to browse the vendors and displays and enjoy a picnic on the grass. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. Victorian costumes encouraged, but not required.

Take transit (HSR stop on King at Strathcona), walk or ride your bike (racks available near the Vic Park community garden). Limited parking is available near the baseball diamond and the municipal lot on King Street, east of Locke.

Event proudly hosted by the Strathcona Community Council and City of Hamilton.

Come one…come all!

Note that this event is the result of a motion by Councillor McHattie at the Emergency and Community Services meeting on June 2, 2010 (see here) .

See the staff report here for more details.


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