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One of the prettiest villages in Quebec

Knowlton scenery (photo: Jessie Archambault)

Part of the Association des Plus Beaux Villages du Québec, Knowlton is 100 km from Montreal and is mostly English-speaking. Loyalists from New England founded the Victorian-style town in 1821. This explains the village’s British flavour, notable as soon as you get there.

On Knowlton Road we see the town’s three churches – Anglican, Catholic and United – which were all built soon after the town’s founding.

In the summer, outdoor and indoor activities take over the town. There are band concerts at the Gazebo, painting exhibitions, English plays at the Lake Brome Theatre, a wedding dress exhibition, from Sunday, June 1 to Tuesday, June 3, and a tractor pull competition from Friday, July 18 to Sunday, July 20.

The local theatre will present Intimate Exchanges Saturday, July 5, Richard Donat reads Stephen Leacock Saturday, July 12, Let’s be Frank Saturday, July 19, Woodswalker Friday, July 25, The 25th Century Belongs to Canada Saturday, June 28, and The Dik and Mitzi Anniversary Show Friday, August 8.

Each Labour Day weekend an agricultural fair established in 1856 takes place near Knowlton over four days. Brome Fair has talent shows, horses, cattle judging, attractions and rides, a magician, local band shows, and a 4x4 truck pull contest.

The major outside activity is the Brome Lake Duck Fest during the last two weekends of September from 11 am – 5 pm when the town closes its two main streets to celebrate. The festival welcomes visitors from Quebec, Ontario, Vermont and New York for a total of 50,000 people over the two weekends. They can taste the duck, special dishes and local products like jams, wine, cheese and honey. Duck-related souvenirs are available in the majority of the stores and outdoor stands.

The Auberge Knowlton Inn starts at $120 per room, with two country-style breakfasts for just $15 more. The inn offers its guests 10% off at its restaurant Le Relais. Attached to the inn, it has an old-style ambiance, looking like a decorated barn with wooden tables and chairs. The menu consists of steak, chicken, seafood, and of course duckling, with prices varying from $18 to $30. All the wine served is locally made in vineyards around the Lake.

Downtown is comprised of Lakeside Street and Knowlton Road where the stores, cafés, restaurants, antique stores and accomodations are found.

Knowlton changes depending on the season in which you visit it. In the spring, multicoloured flowers hang everywhere and in the summer everyone is outside. Autumn gives a magnificent view of the colourful trees, and in winter they’re lit up by lights and Christmas ornaments.

Knowlton is a perfect escape for a taste of the country, boasting a great deal of diversion on a reasonable budget and is well worth a visit any time of year.

Jessie Archambault is a Dawson student.

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