Naramata set to host first Cittaslow Thanksgiving Long Table Dinner


The grounds of the Naramata Centre will be the site of the communities first NaramataSlow Long Table Potluck Dinner on Sunday, October 9th.

The meal will be provided by the guests ‘potluck-style’ with guests challenged to showcase as much Naramata grown, raised or sourced ingredients in their dish to share.  A library of recipes from the afternoon’s meal will be compiled and made available for sharing through the NaramataSlow Pinterest board.

The NaramataSlow Dinner is being convened by the local CittaSlow Committee, to raise awareness and create conversations around Naramata’s designation as a Cittaslow Community. In 2010, the Regional District of Area E, commonly known as Naramata was only one of 2 communities in Canada to receive the Cittaslow designation.  

Local organizers want to celebrate the fall harvest season with a feast for residents and visitors alike.  Spokesperson for the  NaramataSlow Committee, Miranda Halladay says 

“Naramatians have an encyclopedia of reasons why they feel lucky enough to call this place home, covering the spectrum from peacocks to people. The Cittaslow designation prompts us to think and to talk about these aspects of our community, to protect and foster these elements that are integral to living NaramataSlow. Creating and sharing a meal focused on the immense and delicious bounty our Community produces with friends, neighbors and visitors alike feels like a natural tradition in the making, and the right way to foster conversation”.

Bella Homestead Farm owner, Jay Drysdale will be providing the pork for the evening that has been raised less than 2 kilometers from the site of the dinner.  Drysdale has been raising pigs as a means to maintain the diversity on his biodynamic vineyard and home site of Bella Wines, Canada’s only sparkling wine specific winery. 

“What an unbelievable opportunity to sit and break bread with neighbors, fellow winemakers, farmers and community members” says Drysdale.  “It’s truly inspiring to see how this movement is taking hold in our area.  For me to be able to contribute in this way is quite an honor” 

The lawn outside Columbia Hall at the Naramata Centre Society was selected as site for this year’s event.  A local destination for community and outreach programming for over 65 years, The Centre is providing the use of its facilities as the main gathering place on the Thanksgiving Day weekend.  Jim Simpson, Society member, says “bringing people together in a safe, inclusive community has always been a hallmark here at the Centre. We are excited to be part of this event where we can celebrate the bounty of the harvest and the gifts of this land.  The Naramata Centre Board wants to thank the Cittaslow committee for their work to bring this event together. The Centre is pleased to support this event as we re-establish the Centre as part of the local community”.

An “Open Air Wine Lab” will be set up on site showcasing wines made exclusively from vineyards located within the Cittaslow designated area. The lab will feature a varietal based tasting bar, giving guests the opportunity to sample wines and note the distinct character from specific sites and threads that bind varietal character together – identifying terroir.  “As a community of winemakers we are excited by the opportunity to identify and taste with friends and neighbors, what local tastes like to the people that actually live here. Tasting wines side by side in this format within these criteria will be informative not just to guests but to producers as well” says Halladay.

Guest are encouraged to also take part in the ‘preserve exchange’, whereby diners are welcomed to take a jar of preserves in exchange for  leaving a favorite homemade jar of their own.

Tickets for the event were snapped up within 10 days of being released.  With 170 expected participants, the event will be the epicenter for community, family and cultural exchanges among residents and visitors to the area.  In the spirit of Cittaslow, all, musicians, photographers and contracted help are from Naramata, while any surplus funds will be donated to local service groups.


Additional notes:

Naramata is located on the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake, just outside the city of Penticton.  The Naramata Bench is home to orchards and vineyards which surround the village, and many world-class wineries

Cittaslow was founded in Italy as an off shoot of the slowfood movement. Its goal is to improve the quality of life in towns by advocating for a slower pace to community living. To achieve this, Cittaslow encourages member communities to embrace a more humane and ecologically correct environment, and promotes the enjoyment of food, art, tradition, theatre and community gathering places.

For further information, please contact:

Miranda Halladay, Elephant Island Winery