Doors Open tentatively rescheduled for 2019
In previous years, some of the featured sites for Doors Open have included Fairbank Oil, Nemo Hall and Alton Farms Estate Winery. (File photo)
Doors Open Lambton County is putting things on hold for 2018, but are planning a refreshing return for 2019.
Archivist Dana Thorne said they are hoping to work more closely with community partners in executing the community event in order to bring a fresh and exciting appeal to their next edition.
Running biannually since 2012, the event normally features about 35 to 40 spaces across Lambton County. Thorne said the event took place in every corner of the county, including St. Clair Township, Grand Bend, Petrolia, Bright’s Grove and Sarnia, and that it’s always been a huge draw for people.
“It’s a big county, if you want to have representation across the county, you need that,” she said.
Thorne said the worldwide event is a little different everywhere. Some areas choose to concentrate on a specific location, rotating where they feature with the event. This is something Thorne said they may take into consideration for the future, but currently, nothing is set in stone.
“These are just some of the ideas that we are tossing about for future events,” she said. “We’re not sure what form the event might take in 2019, but we just wanted to take a year to put on the brakes and reconsider, but acknowledging that this has been really popular in Lambton County in the past.”
Doors Open features sites like historic homes, churches and museums. Thorne said the most popular spaces during Doors Open are private homes.
“Heritage homes, people love to get inside,” she said. “We featured Nemo Hall in Petrolia on two separate years and there’s always a huge amount of interest…people always wonder what it’s like inside, and they get that opportunity to really look.”
Thorne said when it comes to those spaces, owners, staff and congregations have always made an effort to collect information to share with those visiting the sites. Heritage home owners often know the detailed history of that house, including previous owners, architectural features and how and when it was built.
“They make it an interpretive and interesting experience when you go into that site,” Thorne said. “The site owners are usually quite involved in recruiting volunteers to meet with people as
they go through the home and tell them the history…so not only do you get to see it, you get to really learn about it.”
Some other interesting places involved are local wineries and solar farms. A major perk of the event is that visitors have the chance to see the inner workings of places, including back rooms of museums and local business that are normally not open to the public. And it’s all completely free.
“There’s some unconventional places you might not normally get in behind the scenes to see,” she said. “It can generate a lot of interest and a lot of excitement for some of these sites.”
Thorne said they are hoping to unveil more information in the future for the tentatively scheduled 2019 event. Participants and supporters are encouraged to keep an eye on the Doors Open Lambton County Facebook page for updates.