It’s Harvest (Noir) season: Wanna go?

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Ottawa is blessed with some truly great local food options. From The Elk Ranch to Bottega Nicastro to the Brewer’s Park Farmer’s Market, there really is a local food option to suit every taste, as long as you know where to find it. Once you’ve found it, there’s no better time or occasion to enjoy it than Harvest Noir, Ottawa’s very own chic picnic.

For the third year in a row, Harvest Noir is encouraging Ottawa to get out and make a point of enjoying and supporting our local food options while coming together, dining in public and showing the rest of the world that we’re just as cool as other cities with impromptu picnics (take that, New York and Montreal.) Harvest Noir, for those who haven’t been reading about Local Tourist’s picnic outings from years past, is a pop-up picnic featuring local food, creative fashion and amazing entertainment.

This year’s event is happening on September 7th, 2013, and promises to be even bigger and better than the picnics that came before it.

I spoke to Greg Searle, the “chief ringmaster” behind Harvest Noir, about what this year has in store for picnic goers and the Ottawa community as a whole.

So what’s new and different this year?

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 2.46.55 PM“For the first time, we are opening up Dance Noir, the elegant dance-crazed after-party for the Harvest Noir flashmob picnic, to the public – even if they’re not attending our flashmob chic picnic,” says Searle. “The ticket prices are lower than attending the picnic. That’s making a totally unique dance party atmosphere, something you might only find in a city like Berlin or New York, accessible to Ottawa.”

So if dancing is your favourite part of any event, Harvest Noir’s dance party is probably something you want to add into your Saturday schedule. From the sound of it, and the fact that the past two dance parties have taken place at the Museum of Civilization and the National Arts Centre, you might even want to cancel any other plans you have.

Harvest Noir really is about more than just the party, however. When I asked Greg what Harvest Noir’s impact in the community has been over the past two years, he had this to say:

“Harvest Noir has a social mission, which is to bring back the ancient tradition of having harvest festivals with a 21st-century flashmob twist, and get people who might otherwise not think about where their food comes from to celebrate local food and farms and farmers markets. By holding the event at the start of the harvest season this year, we are creating a big reminder for our guests that they can get fresh produce.”

Did I mention that everyone tends to look really, really ridiculously good-looking while celebrating local food? It’s actually a defining part of the event. The dress code is, as you might have guessed, all-black, and it offers a great opportunity to get creative. There was even a Harvest Noir Fashion flashmob in August, so if you’re looking for some inspiration to plan your outfit, they have you covered.

Last but not least, the Harvest Noir team has decided they want more local tourists at the event, and has six tickets to give away to LTOttawa readers! Just leave a comment on this post by Thursday, September 5 at 5 p.m. telling us why you would invite your friends to join you at the best end-of-summer, beginning-of-harvest-season party around, and you could win a free ticket. We’ll do a random draw Thursday evening and contact you via the e-mail you provide.

Desirae Odjick is a marketer and copywriter who has lived in and loved Ottawa her whole life. She reads, does yoga, runs half-marathons and is really trying to take up a winter sport. “Overly enthusiastic” is her default state.