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Napanee ‘witches’ brew up some good fun to help the community

Vesta is a member of The Cauldron Sisters, a Napanee group of “witches” who raise funds for various organizations. Photo by Nicole Dombroskie

Dressing up in spooky and imaginative attire, decorating brooms and hats, dancing and having fun—all while raising funds for the community— these are the goals of The Cauldron Sisters, a 29-member group of witches and one warlock based in Napanee.

Founder Lorraine Ross, a nurse working at the Alzheimer Society of Hastings-Prince Edward, said that a recurring “memory” on her Facebook page last year prompted her to start the group.

“I started it last summer, in August 2020,” said Ross. “There was a video on Facebook about a bunch of women (dancing as witches) in Germany. We were in the thick of COVID. I just tossed (the idea) out there, didn’t know it was going anywhere. I had 30 people within an hour.”

Ross credits the huge interest in her group to the fact that people were isolated due to the lockdowns last year.

“Everybody was isolated, (so) it was nice to have something to look forward to,” she said.

Ross, who once belonged to a dance team, learned the choreography and had a good friend help with the administration of the group.

“We are not practicing witches,” Ross pointed out. “We’re just dressing up and having fun, we’re not affiliated with Wiccans.”

The Cauldron Sisters at Hollow Square in Newburgh on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. Photo by Eric Brosseau.

“Our plan was to raise funds for the community. We rehearsed in my yard,” she said.

While the group didn’t get a chance to perform publicly last year, The Cauldron Sisters danced at the Hollow Market Square in Newburgh on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 and have future events booked.

“The organizer had reached out to me to see if our group wanted to perform. We waited till dark. We had beautiful brooms handmade from Hamel Brooms from St. Jacobs, Ontario. We decorated them with light,” said Ross.

The members decorate their own costumes, hats, brooms and make up their names. Ross named herself Geillis after watching Outlander.

“I wanted a Scottish witch name. People pick their names based on what they like. People absolutely put some thought into it.”

Ross said that the best part about the group is the friendships that have been formed. “It’s been really wonderful. The friendships that have been made have been remarkable.”

Another thing that surprised Ross was how generous the group has been. Last year, the group’s members donated over $150 to Interval House.

Poster of The Cauldron Sisters’ events. Facebook photo

This year, Ross said that “the girls have all donated goodies for the kids. We’re happy to get out and perform and help the community. We can’t wait to get out there and do more things.”

The Cauldron Sisters will be at Glanmore House in Belleville from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021 for photo opportunities only and will be taking donations for the Alzheimer Society of Hastings-Prince Edward.

On Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, the group will be performing their dance at the Lennox and Addington Library in Napanee at 10:30 a.m., followed by potion-making and story time, a Witch Walk, and a scavenger hunt at Lion’s Park.

They will also be at Wynn Farms in Napanee on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Donations in support of the Alzheimer Society can be made online. For more information on the Cauldron Sisters, click here.

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