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Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter fun at Deerhurst Resort; hockey on the pond in Gravenhurst; Willie's prediction in Wiarton; great writers at Toronto gala

   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 25/14

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Yuk it up in Huntsville, enjoy hockey on the pond in Gravenhurst, watch a furry rodent predict the fate of winter in Wiarton or hang out with a great author in Toronto for seasonal fun activities.

   Laughs and cool fun
   Saturday Night Live alumnus Jim Belushi headlines Huntsville’s Winter Comedy Carnival weekend at Deerhurst Resort.
   The event from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 includes winter fest activities in the Muskoka town including more laughs with Brent Butt of CTV’s Corner Gas fame.
Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario (Jim Fox photo)
   “Deerhurst, along with the town of Huntsville, are making winter a laughing matter,” said Katie Thomas, public relations manager for Skyline Hotels & Resorts.
   Belushi and the Board of Comedy Improv show on Feb. 1 also features Robert Belushi, Larry Joe Campbell, Joshua Funk and Brad Morris.
Jim Belushi and the Board of Comedy Improv show headlines the Huntsville’s Winter Comedy Carnival at Deerhurst Resort. From left: Robert Belushi, Larry Joe Campbell, Jim Belushi, Joshua Funk and Brad Morris.
   “Laughter is the best medicine for the winter blues,” said Deerhurst general manager Chris Lund, whose resort hosts the Saturday night show in the expanded carnival weekend.
   Guests can also enjoy Deerhurst’s winter wonderland at the historic 117-year-old, 400-room year-round resort.
   Options include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, skating, snowmobiling, dog sledding, sleigh rides and ice-carving demonstrations along with the Shizen Spa.
   Huntsville’s downtown will be transformed into a “snow-covered playground” for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, live music, an ice bar and outdoor adventure sports demonstrations by Algonquin Outfitters.
   Visitors can also take a “fat bike” for a spin, build an igloo, warm up at bonfire and enjoy something tasty from food vendors.
   Butt launches the weekend on Jan. 31 with his “Almost a Movie Star” stand-up tour at the Algonquin Theatre.
Horse-drawn sleigh rides are among the activities at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville.
   Deerhurst’s Winter Comedy package is from $234 a night per room (based on a two-night stay and double occupancy with two adults per room). It includes a breakfast, pre-show dinner and Belushi show tickets.
   The optional Friday night show with Brent Butt is an additional $44.55 a person. deerhurstresort.com/winter-comedy; 1-855-462-5164; wintercomedycarnival.com

   Pond hockey is back
   The Original Pond Hockey Classic returns to Gravenhurst from Feb 7 to 9 featuring ex-NHLer Kris King.
   This huge tourney has a four-on-four format in five divisions, including one for the ladies, competing for the North American Cup.
Teams play for the North American Cup at the Original Pond Hockey Classic in Gravenhurst. (Photo credit: Explorers’ Edge)
   “The tournament is at the Muskoka Wharf and is a beautiful setting for the games,” said publicist Kate Monk.
   Things begin with an NHL alumni game played under the lights on Friday night, followed by a gathering at an indoor beer tent, and live entertainment on Saturday night. onthepondcanada.com; (705) 313-6702

   All eyes on Willie
   When will this “real” winter end?
   That’s a question that folklore says will be told by wily groundhog prognosticator Wiarton Willie.
There’s lots of pomp and ceremony when Wiarton Willie gives his prediction on when winter will end.
   Thousands will gather on Feb. 2 at 7 a.m. for a pancake breakfast in Bluewater Park awaiting Willie’s official prediction at 8:07 a.m.
   Willie will be roused from his hibernation for the ritual that says if he sees his shadow we endure another six weeks of wintry weather. No shadow means spring’s just around the corner.
   This is the highlight of the winter festival packed with activities from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2. visitwiarton.ca; (519) 534-4545

   Write on
   Sixty of Canada’s top authors will mingle with some 600 guests at the Book Lover’s Ball on Feb. 6 in Toronto.
   The “black-tie” gala to support the Toronto Public Library system takes place at the Fairmont Royal York hotel.
Novel-inspired entertainment is a feature of the Book Lover’s Ball in Toronto. (Photo by George Pimentel)
   Presented by Sun Life Financial, featured authors include former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff (Fire and Ashes); former ceo and president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Richard Peddie (Dream Job); musician and author Dave Bidini (Keon and Me); and erotic literature’s L. Marie Adeline (S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared.
   Also there will be international bestselling novelist Steven Galloway (The Cellist of Sarajevo); Member of Parliament Olivia Chow (My Journey); and Neil Pasricha (The Book of Awesome).
   A “culinary extravaganza” will be designed by Food Network’s Lynn Crawford and there will be a “sparkling reception, dazzling silent auction, ‘Adopt-a-Branch’ fundraiser and five chapters of entertainment,” said publicist Andrea McLoughlin.
   Each chapter is based on a novel by best-selling authors Jason Mott, Steven Galloway, Kamal Al-Solaylee, Eva Stachniak and Suzanne Collins.
   Individual tickets are $750. The ball raised $530,000 last year to help with enhanced library collections, programs, services and community spaces. bookloversball.ca; (416) 393-7237


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

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