One-Tank Trip for March 24/18
(c) By Jim Fox
There’s never a shortage of fun things to do across Ontario as the province holds some 3,000 festivals and events each year.
Determining the best is a tough job but Festivals and Events Ontario has to do it.
The Kitchener-based association has again come up with its list of the Top 100 festivals and events that “excel,” said Nichole Fogarty, marketing and communications coordinator.
|Celebrating New Orleans’ Mardi Gras with a parade at the Canadian National Exhibition. (Jim Fox photo)|
Included is a “select group” of well-known and distinctive celebrations that draw an international and domestic audience, she added.
Province-wide, Doors Open Ontario, the annual event by the Ontario Heritage Trust that offers tours of facilities not normally open to the public, was among the esteemed group.
Way down southwest
The Southwest Ontario Tourism Region did well, with nine winners including two of “distinction” and three events in London.
- Distinguished was London’s Western Fair, this year from Sept. 9 to 16, with more than 800 animals, 50 rides, fair food, a rodeo, concerts, a demolition derby, square dancing and attractions.
- The Western Fair District was also cited for its Wine and Food Show, next Jan. 17 to 19.
- The International Plowing Match & Rural Expo, Sept. 18 to 22, in Chatham-Kent near Pain Court, is also of note.
|It’s a bustling midway at night at the Norfolk County Fair. (Barbara Fox photo)|
- Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show, Oct. 2 to 8, received two mentions, with one also for its Eat & Drink Norfolk event, April 5 to 7.
- Carrousel of Nations, June 15 to 24, is Windsor’s multicultural festival with “ethno-food, music, dance, arts and crafts.”
- LaSalle Craft Beer Festival, Oct. 5 and 6, (Windsor) has the suds, food trucks, music and games.
- TD Sunfest: Canada's Premier Celebration of World Cultures, July 5 to 8, in London’s Victoria Park, highlights music, dance and the visual arts.
- Tecumseh Corn Festival, Aug. 24 to 26, offers a weekend of entertainment including a parade, classic car show and entertainment.
Thank you very much
Elvis festivals turn up in the Top 100 with Collingwood’s tribute in July and a similar event in Tweed in August.
|Watching ships squeeze through the Welland Canal locks at the Canal Days Festival. (Jim Fox photo)|
You can watch ships pass in the night and day at the Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival in Port Colborne, while Niagara is also the place for its Wine Festival and Winter Festival of Lights.
Over in Hamilton, Halton and Brant, there’s Canada’s Largest Ribfest in Burlington, the Dundas Cactus Festival and Buskerfest, Paris Fair, St. George AppleFest, Winona Peach Fest and a Re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek.
For lads and lassies, there’s the acclaimed Fergus Scottish Festival & Highland Games, Guelph’s Hillside Festival, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, the Stratford Festival and Mount Forest Fireworks Festival.
Toronto and area checks in with the Canadian National Exhibition, Jerkfest, Luminato, Mississauga Italfest, Redpath Waterfront Festival, TD Salsa in Toronto Festival, Caribbean Festival, International Film Festival and Word on the Street.
|Classy chassis are on view at the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegence. (Barbara Fox photo)|
For car fans, there’s the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegence near Owen Sound in September that showcases antique and classic vehicles, and the Barrie Automotive Flea Market in June and September.
There’s the Haunted Forest fest in Aurora, Meaford Scarecrow and Family Festival, Pumpkinferno at Discovery Harbour, Orangeville Blues and Jazz fest, Oshawa Peony Festival, Bradford’s Carrot Fest and Orillia’s Mariposa Folk Festival.
Collingwood is known for its Sidelaunch Days Harbour fest, Kincardine has the Lighthouse Blues Festival, Havelock has the popular Country Jamboree and there’s the Sheep Dog Trials fest in Kingston.
In the nation’s capital, there’s the Tulip fest, Canada Day celebrations, Blues and Jazz fests and Winterlude while Bancroft attracts rockhounds for a Gemboree and Bala has a Cranberry event.
For these and others too many to list, a complete list with dates and links to each site is at festivalsandeventsontario.ca/members/top-100
Jim Fox can be reached at email@example.com
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