One-Tank Trip for Feb. 10/18
(c) By Jim Fox
Stratford’s a happening place with lots for visitors to see and do this season.
This includes the relaunch of the decadent Chocolate Trail, the popular self-guided tour, to meet and sample products from “world-famous confectioners,” said Cathy Rehberg of the Stratford Tourism Alliance.
|Stratford’s spring ritual is the parade of swans to the Avon River.|
There’s also an exhibit paying homage to native son Justin Bieber, the world-renowned Stratford Festival, Garden Festival and a gaggle of waddling, honking swans parading to the Avon River.
The Chocolate Trail is a “natural fit” as Stratford’s candy making history spans some 50 years and three candy makers are in the downtown heritage district.
In its eight years, it inspired the Bacon & Ale trail and seasonal ones focusing on maple and pumpkins.
Participants pay $30 to choose six stops and samplings from among 27 chocolate treat offers.
At the shops, they meet local confectioners, bakers, culinary artisans and food purveyors.
The trail’s offers include long-time favourites, a choice of hand-made truffles or chocolates, sundaes topped with chocolate-dipped peanut brittle and freshly brewed mocha coffee.
|Enjoying the Chocolate Trail in Stratford.|
New offers are chocolate liqueur, cocoa nibs and “perfectly made” hot chocolate.
“The new look and delicious offers will mean even more tasty experiences for our visitors.” said Lori DeGraw, alliance executive director. Details: visitstratford.ca/chocolatetrail; 1-800-561-7926 (SWAN)
The Bieb and the Bard
Singing sensation Justin Bieber will star in an exhibit called “Steps to Stardom” at the Stratford Perth Museum (4275 Huron Road, RR5 Stratford).
The exhibit, which opens Feb. 18 and runs through the end of the year, “tells the story of Justin Bieber’s meteoric rise from busking on the steps of the Avon Theatre to becoming one of the most popular pop stars in the world.”
The museum was given access to hundreds of items, including awards, clothing, pictures, all-access pages, personal letters and even running shoes.
|Justin Bieber returns to the steps of the Avon Theatre.|
It chronicles the Stratford native’s career from the early years of busking and performing in local talent shows to the largest venues and stages in the world.
The exhibit was created in conjunction with Bieber and his family. stratfordperthmuseum.ca; (519) 393-5311
Also in Bieb’s hometown is the Stratford Festival recognized for its productions of the “Bard’s (Shakespeare’s)” plays.
The season features a dozen plays highlighted by The Tempest, Coriolanus and Julius Caesar.
There’s also the Comedy of Errors; Music Man; Rocky Horror Show; Long Day’s Journey Into Night, An Ideal Husband, To Kill a Mockingbird, Napoli Milionaria!, Bronte and Paradise Lost.
The season runs from April 17 to Nov. 4. stratfordfestival.ca; 1-800-567-1600
Coming up roses
For a taste of spring, the Stratford Garden Festival returns from March 1 to 4 at the Rotary Complex (
|Getting ready for the Stratford Garden Festival.|
Visitors will discover ideas for their gardens – from water features to the use of colour and form, designing a quiet green oasis, creating a modern setting for outdoor entertaining and expert advice. lungontario.ca/stratford-garden-festival
Wiggle, waddle walk
They celebrate spring with the annual Swan Parade weekend on April 7 and 8.
That’s when the graceful swans are paraded to the Avon River from their winter quarters.
The Stratford Police Pipes and Drums lead the wiggle, waddle walk on April 8 at 2 p.m. by the 20 celebrated swans.
Swan-themed fun means dressing the part.
With much pomp and circumstance, they’ll be watched by thousands of revellers, many of whom are adorned in swan hats and regalia.
Each swan has a name, personality and recorded lineage as some are descendants of Queen Elizabeth II’s royal herd as a gift of two swans was made in 1967. visitstratford.ca; 1-800-561-7926
Jim Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca