Brock’s Big Bite
A history of the community festival that celebrates all things local – food, artisans, entertainers, artists, heritage and main street businesses. Please browse through our gallery to see the fun we have had during our nine festivals.
Brock’s Big Bite is a ‘long lunch’ festival. The downtown area is closed. Long rows of tables covered with bright red and white checkered cloths stretch past the bank and the shops, replacing the cars and creating the ‘long lunch’ setting. The wonderful aromas of barbequed local beef and pork grab fill the air and grab your appetite. The food tent is well-stocked with harvest-fresh vegetables and you can hear the laughter as a group of volunteers husk the bounty of corn in preparation for this celebration. And the pies… what better way to end a scrumptious meal than with a fresh slice of homemade apple or cherry pie! We will be ready for the hungry crowds of family and friends to arrive and take their seats.
But Brock’s Big Bite is not only a wonderful meal in a unique setting on the main street of our heritage Victorian-era rural town. We are celebrating the talents and creativity so abundant in Brock Township residents. On stage at the end of the street, musicians of all ages add their voices to the festival atmosphere. Stroll along the sidewalks as you enjoy the music, visit the unique shops and take in the creative art show in the historic town hall.
Where did the idea for Brock’s Big Bite come from? A simple invitation – “Come to dinner to discuss a lunch!” That is how it all started. In fact, that is often how great community events begin – someone with an idea and a vision creates the excitement to start the ball rolling. And so, a small gathering of enthusiastic Brock citizens were invited to consider the possibility of a new food and arts festival. “Why not?” we agreed and the creation of ‘Brock’s Big Bite’ began.
Our posters over the years document the variety of venues, program ideas and events featured at Brock’s Big Bite.
Posters of our Events
Our first ever event in 2011
In 2012, featured artists The Weafer Brothers and Poor Tom provided music during the meal, while at the Alex Muir Park Gazebo, drumming performances and Ziggy the Clown entertained.
A surprise performance led by local playwright, Paul Tremeer, captured the bank heist by the Boyd Gang performed by members of The Beaverton Town Hall Players and THE ROCK Youth Group, BEACAN Part of Beaverton’s history!
Visitors filled their water bottles provided by Farmers’ Mutual Insurance at the Water on Wheels station sponsored by the TD Canada Trust Friends of the Environment Foundation.
A new partnership was formed with the neighbouring Splash Festival for the 2013 and 2014 Brock’s Big Bite Festivals.
The ‘green’ aspect of the festival also grew.
The Greening Brock’s Big Bite
Brock’s Big Bite is making great strides in it’s greening efforts. It began with one volunteer’s suggestion to provide a “waste station” to help guests direct their meal garbage into compost, recycling and waste. In 2012, we introduced some new components to “green” the festival even more with the help of several corporate sponsors and our volunteer team.
The Brock’s Big Bite Steering Committee partnered with TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and Farmer’s Mutual Insurance Company of Lindsay which helped us to achieve phenomenal results.
A Water on Wheels (WOW) hydration station provided 145 litres of fresh cold filtered municipal water diverting the equivalent of 290 single use plastic bottles from our waste stream. Reusable water bottles were provided for festival guests.
We introduced two unique products for our food service. Our guests were fascinated by the “spudware” cutlery – 100% biodegradable and compostable forks, knives and spoons made of potato starch. Our sugarcane plates were manufactured from the residue remaining after the stalks are crushed. Unlike standard paper plates made from tree pulp, which requires a form of glue, the sugarcane packaging is made into a solid mold. This, along with it’s increased moisture resistance, allows the material to be used with no coating, thereby bypassing the traditional problems of the petroleum coating altogether.
This year, check out our colourful reusable table cloths!
The ‘greening’ of Brock’s Big Bite is not possible without the support of our volunteers, guests, corporate and community partners, including the Municipality of Brock Township, the Regional Municipality of Durham, Farmer’s Mutual and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
2014 Brock’s Big Bite welcomed
NITE BITES GALA
This premier event showcased local art, music, and food in an atmosphere of community and celebration, including recognition of the significant contribution of our volunteers and sponsors.
Hosted in the historic Beaverton Town Hall, Nite Bites stimulated all the senses!
Tastes and Aromas
On our tables; Chef Christian Pritchard transformed ingredients from mystery boxes, packed and provided by local growers, into mouth-watering tastes of pure culinary pleasure. Barn Door Brewery and Thornbury Cider were on hand to quench our thirst.
In our pantries; Chef Emerie Brine of Bernardin offered insights into the art of preserving, including tastes of sweet and savoury samples.
Special displays provided new perspectives for traditional foods while throughout the evening guests enjoyed mouth-watering appetizers.
Sights, Sounds, Touch
Local musicians provided a background to an incredible art show, encouraging guests to mingle with the talented artists.
2015 Introduced Nite Bites VIP
Your VIP ticket includes an intimate opportunity to chat with chefs Maddie and Kiki as they prepare a mouth-watering savory and sweet appetizer just for you! A wine pairing featuring Kawartha Country Wines compliments their offering. A food court lets you sample the varied flavours that produce the taste of Durham. You also get a VIP swag bag full of surprises and will be first in line for all the creative tastes, sounds and experiences of Nite Bites Gala! VIP tickets include a $20 charitable receipt.
Premium ticket holders will enjoy a full evening program of tasting, inspiring food demonstrations, local art and a live and silent auction featuring specialty food and beverage products from across Durham. It’s an experience to tantalize all of your senses with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Durham’s food extravaganza
A Change of Venue was in store for 2017 & 2018
The festival moved to Cannington. Visitors could explore new shops and the historic buildings while still enjoying the winning combination of local food, talent, and art.
Back to Beaverton in 2019
‘Little Bites’, an event hosted by the Brock Libraries, hosted a family movie night including freshly popped popcorn the evening before Brock’s Big Bite. On Saturday, our traditional festival featured a large silent auction of goods and services.