Well, if you are looking for a fun-filled and zany way to celebrate a chilly Saturday afternoon, then the SVRA has THE perfect opportunity for you!
The Stirrup Cup
According to the Oxford Dictionary, a Stirrup Cup is a cup of wine presented to someone who is mounted with feet in stirrups and ready to ride in the hunt or other activity necessitating riding upon horseback. In the 1960s and 70s, the cartoonist Walt Kelly had his characters create songs – actually, the lyrics for songs for which some fine music was later rvritten. One of the songs goes as follows:
I was stirrin’ up a stirrup cup
In a stolen sterling stein,
When I chanced upon a ladle
Who was once my valentine
The Community History Project, in opening its museum (The Tollkeeper’s Cottage, located in the Tollkeeper’s Park at the northwest corner of Davenport and Bathurst Streets) felt that the time had come to make use of the surrounding parkland with activities or events from time to time. Linked with this, is CHPs desire to bring to all parts of its large study area (Don River to Dufferin, just below Bloor to just north of St. Clair) some awareness of the other parts and the people involved in maintaining stewardship over the heritage assets of each part. Since heritage preservation is a frustrating – and often infuriating –business, it was also decided that the initiative should also contain some elements of fun.
Accordingly, CHP brought together various aspects of history in creating The Stirrup Cup. The “cup” is a stainless steel pail, with handles made from real stirrups which one enterprising member obtained at the racetrack (horse never identified, but was probably not a winner). This large “cup” could handle several quarts of wine if necessary as well as the heat. A “cup” requires a competition of some sort, and another enterprising member donated two pairs of skis – for a typically Canadian competition. But since the competition involves communities rather than individuals, the pairs of skis are made for teams rather than individuals. Each team consists of four people who, together, make the skis move, plus another four people who make up that team’s cheering section. Four people actually skiing on a single pair of skis is not as easy as it sounds; in truth, it is an exercise in hilarity. The racecourse is marked out in the park with flags, the teams have a starting line, and when the signal to begin racing is given, the object of the exercise is for each team to try to race through the course and reach the finish line. The winners and losers then repair to the Tollkeeper’s Cottage to enjoy a Stirrup Cup together – reversing the order of consumption set for the old British foxhunt, and rnaintaining the character of the stirrup cup set by Walt Kelly for the characters in his comic strip, “Pogo”.
The Stirrup Cup is a competition by invitation only and is offered intermittently by the Community History Project at theTollireeper’s Cottage and Park.
This year, the competition is to take place on Saturday February 19th, from 11 am until I pm.
The course, regardless of weather, will be marked out in advance by CHP members, and might be altered during the course of the race. The judge for the 2011 competition is City Councillor Joe Mihevc, who is free to set the rules for the race, and flee to change same as he pleases. The cup itself will remain inside the Tollkeeper’s Cottage so that the wine can be properly mulled and heated, then served with appropriate refleshments – some of which will be for the winners, if there are any.
2011 COMPETITORS INVITED ARE:
THE SEATON VILLAGE RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION VS THE NEIGHBOURS OF ST. ALBAN’S PARK
Anyone wanting to participate, please contact the SVRA at firstname.lastname@example.org
This promises to be A LOT of FUN!!!
We look forward to any and all supporters as well; the more the merrier….hope to see you there!
All the best, Jennifer and the SVRA