Welcome to the Ontario Potjie Festival website.

Please check this website frequently for updates!

What is the Ontario Potjie Festival about?
The Ontario Potjie Festival is held each year by the Afrikaans (Dutch descent) South African community in Ontario, to celebrate their 300 year old heritage of the Voortrekkers (Dutch pioneers) in South Africa. 

It is a weekend of speaking their language (Afrikaans) camping, swimming, dancing, traditional farm games and the main event: the Potjiekos competition (cook-off) with cast iron Dutch ovens. So to be clear, this is not a typical Canadian festival with food stalls, merchandise stalls and a musical lineup. 

Potjiekos originated from the Voortrekkers, evolving as a stew made of venison and vegetables, cooked in a Potjie (Afrikaans word for Dutch oven), which they brought with them from Holland. As Voortekkers shot wild game, it was added to the pot. The large bones were included to thicken the stew. Each day when the wagons stopped, the potjie was placed over a wooden fire to simmer. New bones replaced old and fresh meat replaced meat eaten. Game included venison, poultry such as guinea fowl, wart hog, bushpig, rabbit and hare.

Preparations for this annual “potjiekos” festival begin months in advance. 

People start arriving at the Toronto North/Cookstown KOA campground on the Friday. Festival goers stay in cabins, RVs and tents. Others stay in hotels in Barrie or in nearby towns.

On Friday evening, the braai fires are lit and the party is on!

Most people sit around the braai until the early morning hours on Saturday, catching up on news with all the friends they made at the previous Potjie. Saturday is the very popular Boeresports (Farm games) and Saturday evening it's time to bring out your dancing shoes for the big sokkie (dance).

Sunday is the day all the potjiekos competitors have been waiting for! The food preparation starts after a church service and by the afternoon the whole campground is filled with the wonderful aroma of the various potjies, carefully nursed by their expert creators.

After the judging is over, everyone gets to taste the potjies to get real taste of all the hard work of the afternoon.

Sunday evening we all gather on the grass in front of the hall for a movie on the big screen, under the stars.

Don’t miss out on the annual Ontario Potjie Festival. It is a blast that you won’t forget anytime soon!

Want to join us this year? Here are the details for the upcoming Ontario Potjie Festival.

Like our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/OntarioPotjie

Ontario Potjie Festival organizer:
Anneke Breed & Ettienne Van Rooyen