The Deacon Visits Keswick!!!
Here's what I learned:
Far from being cultureless, Keswick has its share of celebrities. Noted actor and comedian, Jim Carrey temporarily lived in a trailer in Jackson's Point, only a short drive from Keswick. Glen Toulin, the brilliant jew's harp and musical saw player once lived in Keswick for an entire summer, and 2 time Southern Ontario Crokinole Champion, the late Dave Ellings lived near Keswick all his life. The mini-city is very picturesque, with a marsh, a snowmobile parts dealer and a Seven Eleven that stocks everything you need, from white bread to dew-worms and snowmobile parts. Every winter, from October to May, the second largest snowmobile picnic in the world takes place out on Cooke's Bay. Only Kirkland Lake has a larger one! Here, local mechanics and parts dealers drink beer and tell hilarious stories about people crashing through the ice and washing up on the beach in June. There is a prize for the best decorated snowmobile, and the locals drink the favourite Keswick cocktail: hot chocolate and beer! If you've never had a hot cup of this gut warming potion, try it with a fresh chunk of bass on a slice of white bread. Then head up to the Stephen Leacock Theatre, which is being bulldozed to make room for the Dave Ellings Crokinole Arena. It's easy to find - just follow the line of make-shift snowmobile crash crucifixes and head north! And make sure you stick around for the Canadian Ice Fishing Championships!
Keswick also has a library, although it's technically in Jackson's Point. It's open every Wednesday, rain or shine, and here you can borrow perennial favourites, like The Dummy's Guide to Ski-doos or The Idiot's Guide to Snowmobile Crashes. Keswick's thriving nightlife is something you have to see to believe! His Worship took me for a ride down the Main Street sidewalk where we played "Scare the Senior" and then it was off to the late night butcher's shop to watch the new meat slicer in action. She's a lovely girl. Saturday mornings are spent recovering from Friday night's snowmobile crash, or simply polishing the Polaris with an appropriate wax from Canadian Tire. The big entertainment on Sunday is watching the traffic lights change. (It happens at noon, if you don't want to miss it.) The Keswick Congregational Church holds outdoor services all year, so you don't even have to climb off your all terrain vehicle or Snowjet!
Here are some fascinating Keswick facts:
Did you know...
- Mary Dales at 82 is the oldest person in Keswick?
- One of the houses in town is thought (by some) to be haunted?
- More hot chocolate and beer is consumed per capita in Keswick than any comparable city?
- There are an estimated 60 tons of snowmobiles on the bottom of Cooke's Bay?
- Keswick has the highest person to book ratio on the planet?
- The official game of Keswick is not ice hockey, but crokinole?
- The Keswick Snow Collision Hospital has a first rate Testicle Trauma Ward?
- Although Keswick is known primarily for "snowmobiles on the sidewalk", 87% of Keswickians own Jet Skis too?
"It's a great town, Your Worship" I said to Mayor John-David "Rick" Jeeter, as I cradled the commemorative Dave Ellings Crokinole Set I'd been presented with at the Seven Eleven / Mayor's Office.
"No Deacon. It's a thriving cosmopolitan mini-city" he responded. I dismounted the luxurious, air conditioned, Arctic Cat Icebuster and stared across the bay where the bright headlight glare of the bulldozers indicated the razing of the Stephen Leacock Theatre had begun.
A thriving cosmopolitan mini-city?
Damn right it is.
So visit Keswick. Come for the morning and stay all afternoon. Come for the crokinole and stay for the five pin bowling. Keswick's open all year round, and it never sleeps...
And make sure you grab a mug of hot chocolate and beer, and a slice of bass on white sandwich bread. Tell them the Deacon sent you.
Deacon Dr. Fresh
Supporting thriving cosmopolitan mini-cities everywhere