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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Seasons Christmas Show kicks off the holiday season with more handmade gifts and creative workshops

Friday, November 17 - Sunday, November 19, 2017

  • More than 300 exhibitors with holiday decor, gifts and food
  • Stage appearances and workshops with Cityline style expert Lynn Spence, Taste of the Country’s Danielle French, Makeful baker Adjoa Duncan and celebrity florist Kate Seaver
  • Biggest-ever Makeful Market offers beautiful, hand-crafted items from more than 80 local makers


(MISSISSAUGA, November 1, 2017) - The Seasons Christmas Show is sweetening its tradition as the official kick-off to holiday shopping and decorating this year by increasing its marketplace of local artisans and its lineup of inspirational DIY workshops. With over 300 exhibitors and a mainstage program packed with celebrity decorating and style experts, Seasons has been a go-to holiday destination for over a decade. This year, the show promises even more beautiful, unique holiday gift shopping, festive music and inspiring ideas to get visitors in the holiday spirit all weekend long.

Also new this year, Santa himself will be on hand at the Seasons Christmas Show for a limited time each day to chat and take selfies or family pics with visitors. Santa will visit the show on Friday from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

2017 Seasons Christmas Show Highlights:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Award-winning Canadian R&B diva Jully Black in concert Nov. 17 (2017) at Stratford’s Revival House


 Stratford, ON (November 6, 2017) – String Bone Presents! Canadian, award-winning, R&B-soul songstress Jully Black in an intimate and unplugged concert on November 17, 2017 in the warm confines of Stratford’s Revival House. The concert starts at 8:00 pm.

Multi-dimensional Jully Black is a longstanding name in Canada's R&B scene with her unique musical style known as “new Motown” which comprises both retro and modern beats. Described by critics as “dazzling tinges of grooving soul and a heavy layer of pure, crisp R&B,” Jully Black’s sound and talent never ceases to amaze critics and fans alike who keep coming back for more.

You know a song's a hit when you hear it almost anywhere – on the radio, in the mall, and you subconsciously hum it – and Jully Black has a long list of such memorable tunes, including:

·         Seven Day Fool (10 best Canadian R&B songs ever per CBC music)
·         Until I Stay
·         Running
·         Queen
·         Sweat Of Your Brow
·         Stay The Night
·         I Travelled
·         Time of Your Life
·         Lovin' You

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Hit the road for Florida where deals await Canadians

   One-Tank Trip for Nov. 11-17

   (c) By Jim Fox
    For Postmedia Network/Sun Media newspapers, websites

   Get your motor runnin' and head out on the highway.
   That refrain by Steppenwolf is a common one for thousands of Ontarians who are doing just that en route to their winter playground in the sun.
   The annual migration of the so-called “Snowbirds” to the sun-drenched environs of the “Sunshine State” is under way.
Another beautiful winter day in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Jim Fox photo)
   Writer Dave Hunter, the authority on the I-75 expressway to the sun, is back with an internet-updated guidebook for the 20-plus-hour, “one-tank-a-day” trip to Florida.
   As well, while expressing his “love” for Canadians, Florida Governor Rick Scott was in Toronto recently to launch a discount program for visitors from the north.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Here a moo, there a moo all at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

    One-Tank Trip for Nov. 4/17
   (c) By Jim Fox
   (Postmedia Network/Sun Media)

   There are more animals than at Old MacDonald’s Farm as the country has come to the big city for the next week.
   Yes, there’s a moo, moo here, oink, oink there along with a quack, quack, neigh, neigh, baa, baa and cluck, cluck at the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.
   It’s time to get your boots polished and saddle up for the big show this weekend through Nov. 12 at Exhibition Place.
Ride ‘em cowboy at the Royal’s rodeo on Nov. 12. (Photos by Ben Radvanyi)
   Since its humble beginnings 95 years ago, the Royal has grown into a beloved Toronto tradition and an arena of excellence for culinary arts, agriculture and equine sport,” said Charlie Johnstone, chief executive officer.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Fall colour progression at its peak across Ontario

   One-Tank Trip for Oct. 21/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   The vibrant reds and oranges of maple trees are “really popping” now across Ontario as the fall burst of colour reaches its peak.
   Don’t miss the show while taking one-tank trips to pumpkin patches, apple orchards, fall fairs and festivals because it might not last long.
   Ontario Tourism reports the colour change has passed 50 per cent while most areas are reporting leaves falling before they hit their peak colour.
Vibrant colours dot the countryside across Ontario with the fall leaf spectacle. (Barbara Fox photo)
   “Ontario is the premier destination to enjoy the annual spectacle of summer’s lush greenery
transformed into a mosaic of magnificent rich shades of red, orange and yellow,” says the province’s Fall Colour Progression Report.
   Northern regions and centrally in Algonquin Park have a colour change from 60 per cent to 90 per cent now, with the numbers less in the south.

   Falling for fall

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Cottage Life: "Are we there yet?" Big fall show tells all

    One-Tank Trip for Oct. 14/17
   (c) By Jim Fox

   Cottage living isn’t just a warm-weather pursuit any longer.
   Those lakeside retreats known as cottages, cabins and vacation homes are increasingly becoming year-round abodes.
   Many have been outfitted with all the comforts of home, including central heating and air-conditioning, for all-year living and as retirement properties.
Cottage retreats are increasingly for all-season use. (Jim Fox photos)
   A survey of 1,100 owners by Cottage Life and the Ontario Real Estate Association found 64 per cent of cottages were used year-round with plans for many more to be converted.
   With that in mind, a popular show for cottage doers and dreamers is a hit not just in the spring but this month, too.
   Returning is the Fall Cottage Life Show from Oct. 20 to 22 at the International Centre (6900 Airport Road) in Mississauga.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pumpkins, cranberries and gourds galore highlight fall festivals

    One-Tank Trip for Oct. 7/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Big orange pumpkins and little red acidic cranberries complement Thanksgiving Day meals and star on their own in festivals at this time of year.
Visitors to the Bala Cranberry Festival can watch berries being harvested at an area marsh.
   Stratford Tourism has expanded its Savour Stratford Pumpkin Trail to include 21 stops in the Festival City and five in St. Marys.
   “The flavour of pumpkin is synonymous with autumn and for many, this is the most anticipated trail,” said Cathy Rehberg of Stratford Tourism.
   Now in its third year, there are 26 offers presented by culinary artisans and shopkeepers on this self-guided trail with participants selecting any six.
   These range from savoury offers of Thai pumpkin curry soup and fries in a spicy pumpkin dip to decadent pumpkin cupcakes, creamy pumpkin fudge and pumpkin pie spice brittle made by local artisans, Rehberg said.
Junction 56 Distillery offers its Pumpkin Spice Liqueur along the Savour Stratford Pumpkin Trail.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Custom Kool Haus brew for this year’s Oktoberfest in Kitchener (2017)

(News Release)

 KITCHENER, Ont. — The grandest Bavarian festival outside of Munich deserves a special brew to call its own.

Bingemans and Waterloo Brewing are proud to present a custom Munich-style beer brewed especially for Kool Haus and the 2017 festing season.

Waterloo Festbier is crafted in the traditional Bavarian Marzenbier style with a rich toastiness and dark copper colour that will knock your knee-high socks off.

“We’re gearing up for the greatest, most versatile Oktoberfest Kool Haus yet,” says Mark Bingeman, President of Bingemans.

“Along with the Waterloo Festbier, patrons will also get a taste of Hacker-Pschorr and Paulaner, two authentic German brews produced by Waterloo Brewing.”
Beer and Oktoberfest is "wunderbar" Jim Fox photo
Beer lovers can get a special preview of the Waterloo Festbier at Boston Pizza/Kingpin Bowlounge and Taste at the Tannery.

Tasty carnival food sensations to bite into at the Norfolk County Fair

    One-Tank Trip for Sept. 30/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Hurry, hurry, step right up and get your carnival food.
   Country fairs are the rage for big veggie contests, horse and animal shows, midways, demolition derbies, music and as purveyors of quintessential carny food.

   There’s all the deep-fried, unusual food-on-a-stick creations you won’t find anywhere else.
   This open-air dining akin to the popularity of food trucks now takes the cake – so to speak – and no one does it better than the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show in Simcoe (172 South Drive), south of Brantford.
   The fair, which runs from Oct. 3 to 9, is a “culinary carnival,” says Noah Cappe, host of the TV show Carnival Eats.

   He knows his deep fried, roasted, broasted and toasted discoveries as his Food Network Canada show did an episode featuring the Norfolk fair.
   Cappe raved about the Thanksgiving Bowl that he called a “cornucopia of flavours with fresh fall veggies, succulent turkey and cranberry cornbread.”
   Digging into some fusion fare with Indo-Canadian inspired butter bacon poutine and a cheeseburger eggroll, he washed it down with ale and apple fritters.
  Scott Dennis of CoCo Concessions offers deep fried chicken feet on a stick at the fair in Simcoe.
   As Ontario’s oldest agricultural fair, Norfolk has been doing it right for the past 177 years, keeping up with the evolution of taste treats.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The 10th annual Horse Country Stable Tour takes place in Headwaters

(News Release)

The 10th annual  Headwaters Horse Country Stable Tour, takes place on Saturday, September 30th and Sunday, October 1st, and will see equine facilities from Caledon, Dufferin, Erin and King open their doors to the public.
This annual event allows visitors and residents and opportunity to experience the gamut of equine activity with a rare "behind the scenes" perspective.
The tour is self-guided and admission is free (some locations may offer items for sale).
Please see below for details. Locations and hours vary by date and are subject to change. Visit  HeadwatersStableTour for the latest maps and information.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

String Bone Presents! Third season kicks-off with panache in Stratford


JUNO Award nominees Jeremy Fisher & NQ Arbuckle team up for double bill solo performances October 6th at Stratford’s Revival House
Stratford, ON (September 26, 2017) – String Bone Presents! a fantastic double bill concert October 6, 2017, featuring JUNO Award nominees Jeremy Fisher and NQ Arbuckle (Neville Quinlan). The spotlight will shine on each musician during solo sets in the intimate confines of Stratford’s Revival House. The concert starts at 8:00 pm.

Canadian singer-songwriter Jeremy Fisher has been regaling audiences with his folk-influenced music and powerful solo performances ever since he came on the music scene in 2001. The Hamilton-born musician has a flair for killer lines and lyrics, along with a wicked sense of humour.

Somewhat of a chameleon, Jeremy Fisher’s sound has evolved over the years, from “honest and heartfelt” lounge ballads to incorporating touchstones of popular culture into his songs. Although the palette is different, the songs are as thoughtful and interesting as ever, and he plays songs from his entire catalogue whenever he performs live. He has toured the world, as well as North America, opening for The Proclaimers; shared the stage with Sarah Slean; recorded with Hawksley Workman; and traded-off lines with Serena Rider. His last two shows in Stratford sold out.

A Different Booklist Cultural Centre joins the Bloor St. Culture Corridor in Toronto

(News Release)
The Bloor St. Culture Corridor, Toronto's most diverse arts and culture district, is delighted to announce that A Different Booklist Cultural Centre: The People's Residence is now part of the Bloor St. Culture Corridor. 
The Bloor St. Culture Corridor offers the public a wide variety of arts and culture: museums, film screenings, art exhibitions, music concerts, culture talks, theatre, architecture, and more. It also offers opportunities to experience some of Toronto's most accessible cultural diversity, including Aboriginal, French, Jewish, Italian, Japanese, Estonian, and now African and Caribbean arts and culture.
The Bloor St. Culture Corridor is a true creative cluster, an arts and culture destination, and a collaboration between some of Toronto's most dynamic arts and culture organizations.

Let Culture Days guide you across Ontario from Sept. 29-Oct.1 (2017)

Hundreds of Culture Days activities and events are scheduled to take place in communities wide across the Province of Ontario 
Toronto, ON, September 20, 2017 – With an exceptional number of FREE activities and events scheduled to take place in hundreds of communities across Ontario – what better reason could there be for heading out on a road trip?
The annual Culture Days weekend, from September 29th-October 1st, provides an excellent opportunity to explore so much of what Ontario has to offer culturally. Whether you choose to investigate what is happening in your own local city or town or hop in a car, catch a bus or train to explore the natural beauty of the landscapes while investigating the cultural offerings of each region, Culture Days can be a great resource to help plan your travels.
Sioned Watkins and the Kingston Symphony. Gyrokinesis workshop, Isabel Bader 
Centre of Performing Arts, Kingston. Photo credit: Agilo Arts.
You’ve never been to Napanee but have heard about the gorgeous scenery? Do you have family in Kingston that is long overdue for a visit?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tapping into Oktoberfest fun in Kitchener-Waterloo and area

   One-Tank Trip for Sept. 23/17

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is certainly “wunderbar.”
   They’re about to roll out the barrels (of beer) for Canada’s great Bavarian festival from Oct. 6 to 14, the biggest outside of Munich, Germany.
Prime Minster Justin Trudeau taps the first keg of beer to launch last year’s Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest. (Sylvia Pond Photography from K-W Oktoberfest)
   Everyone is willkommen (welcome) and a visitor’s guide to this annual beer bash (not forgetting the cultural activities, too) should list Ein Prosit as its anthem.
   The rallying call for this Bavarian drinking song anthem is usually preceded by the unusual but familiar chant of “zicke zacke, zicke zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi.”
   Loosely translated, it means “down the hatch,” as revellers chug their beer and finish it off with a round of polkas before roaring into another rousing chorus.
Ein Prosit! (Writer Jim Fox) Photo by Barbara Fox
   As well, leading the revellers in the chicken dance oom-pah song (doing the polka while imitating chickens) is Onkel Hans, a huge orange-costumed mascot wearing a Prosit hat.
   Among the 700,000 annual celebrants for last year bash was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
   He tapped the keg to open the 48th annual event and was joined by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, local and regional politicians and event dignitaries including Miss Oktoberfest.
Bottoms up at K-W Oktoberfest. (Jim Fox photo)
   “During this nine-day celebration, you will have a chance to experience the rich German heritage of our founders in our increasingly vibrant, energetic city (originally called Berlin),” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.

   Festhall party central
   Join the fun at 13 German-Canadian clubs, called festhallen, featuring music, food and culture that are at the heart of this festival.
   Expect to see men in lederhosen (leather shorts), suspenders and felt hats adorned with pins and huge feathers while women are smartly dressed in dirndls – dresses with flowing skirts.
   Along with pilsners to wash down traditional German cuisine, there’s some culture, too, with more than 40 family and cultural events.
Dancers show their stuff at a festhall. (K-W Oktoberfest photo)
   “Children can experience Cook like Oma as they learn to prepare and bake their own pretzels,” said Margo Jones, Oktoberfest president.
   “Have your picture taken with Miss Oktoberfest, Onkel Hans, Tante Frieda and the Steiner brothers, Ziggy unt Zaggy.

   Tasty treats
   “Tempt your taste buds with various Bavarian culinary specialities throughout the festhallen including apple strudel, sauerkraut, schnitzel, rollbraten and, of course, Oktoberfest sausage,” she added.
   In the spirit of Gemutlichkeit (good times), on Oct. 6 at 11 a.m., outside Kitchener City Hall will be pomp and ceremony, music and dancing, and the enthusiasm of thousands of revellers eager to kick-off the 2017 fest.
Oktoberfest mascot Onkel Hans revs up the crowd at the Thanksgiving Day Parade (K-W Oktoberfest photo).
   The Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade on Oct. 9, starting at 8:30 a.m., will feature 120 floats, bands and costumed characters making their way from Weber and Frederick streets in Kitchener.
   About 150,000 people line a five-kilometre route through the Twin Cities for the parade.
   Popular events on closing day, Oct. 14, are a beer barrel race, food truck feast and a car show.
   The origins of Oktoberfest celebrations began with festivities to celebrate a wedding in Bavaria 207 year ago of King Ludwig and Therese von Sachsen-Hildenburghausen.
   Miss Oktoberfest contestants are ready to party in their dirndls. (K-W Oktoberfest photo)
   In 1969, the founding fathers of Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest recreated this Bavarian tradition and now about $1.5 million is raised annually to assist not-for-profit organizations.
   For more information, go to: oktoberfest.ca or call 1-888-294-HANS

   Bottoms up
   Bingemans is offering a custom Munich-style beer brewed especially for it Kool Haus festhall.
   Created by Waterloo Brewing, Waterloo Festbier is crafted in the traditional Bavarian Marzenbier style with a rich toastiness and dark copper colour “that will knock your knee-high socks off,” said president Mark Bingeman.
   Also available are the tastes of Hacker-Pschorr and Paulaner, two authentic German brews produced by Waterloo Brewing. bingemans.com


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

Monday, September 18, 2017

Let the fall colour show begin

   One-Tank Trip for Sept. 16/17
   (c) By Jim Fox

   The hills are about to come alive with a kaleidoscope of autumn colors and they’re going to be spectacular.
   While many people lament a summer that wasn’t exactly to their liking, the fall foliage show will be “glorious,” says Dave Phillips, Environment Canada’s senior climatologist.
   “I think it’s going to be the most spectacular, colour-change season in history,” he added, noting the trees have enjoyed the wet and not-so-hot summer.
   In anticipation of the season, Ontario Parks and Ontario Tourism have launched their fall colour reports, predicting great things to come soon.
The hills are about to turn vibrant at Bass Lake Provincial Park near Orillia. (Jim Fox photo)
   “Ontario is the premier destination for those wishing to see summer’s lush greenery transformed into a mosaic of magnificent rich shades of red, orange and yellow,” says Kevin Forget of the Ontario Travel Information Centre in Barrie.
   The first of the weekly “Fall Colour Progression Reports,” running online until mid-October, is designed to “enrich” your day-tripping experiences.