Bren Fair 2014

When my father turned 40 years old, I was 11. I remember the occasion quite vividly. We prepared a secret birthday party for him: we rented the local school gymnasium, invited about a hundred friends of his including some he had not seen since high school, hired a caterer and a DJ, and I gave my very first public speech before an audience of strangers. I told the story of the funny things he used to do to trick-or-treaters at Halowe’en. After the speeches, there was a dance, and a DJ. I didn’t want to dance, and there was no one I wanted to dance with anyway, so I danced with a balloon.

This year, on July 4th, it’s my ‘turn’ to turn 40. It feels like a milestone of a sort. A number of my friends had special events for their 40th, and a few friends of mine have already said that I should do something special for mine. Normally I celebrate my birthday by inviting a few people to join me in a local pub. Nothing bigger than that. But this time, I think I’d like to do something special.

I’d like to rent a hall somewhere. Ideally, I would rent the fireplace lounge in the Elora Mill Inn, but I think it might not be finished renovations by then. Alternatively I might rent a special-events room in a pub or small hotel; I might even host it at my parent’s house in Elora, which is certainly big enough, and we’ve had big parties and house concerts there in the past. I’d also like to book a band, and I’ve already spoken to Heather & Ben about it, and I want Frosty to perform too. And I’d like there to be a big feast, maybe with someone’s home-made beer and wine. I’ve already set aside a few thousand dollars for the purpose – money I probably should be saving for home-ownership or for retirement, but what the hell.

I’d love it if some of my far-flung friends from Ireland, UK, America, and distant Canadian provinces east and west, could attend. People often travel that far to attend weddings; my birthday is of course not a wedding, but a 40th birthday seems to me like an equally significant milestone. So, this is why I’m sending out this “invitation” of sorts six months in advance.

Details will be posted to my FB and Twitter as they are determined. But in the meanwhile I am open to suggestions about venues in southwestern Ontario (because that’s where I grew up, and where the majority of my friends and family still live), and catering, and entertainment. And, of course, let me know if you would like to attend!

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