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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Savouring ice and snow in Bracebridge and warming up to the Toronto International Boat Show

   One-Tank Trip for Jan. 18/20

   By Jim Fox
   Postmedia Network/Sun newspapers and websites

   In four-season Muskoka vacationland they’re savouring the ice and snow while crowds in Toronto just can’t wait until summer.
   Aiming to be the coolest place in Canada, trucks have dumped 50 loads of snow on the main street in downtown Bracebridge.
 It takes 50 truckloads of snow to create the tube run in downtown Bracebridge.
    That’s for epic tube runs alongside fire pits and Muskoka chairs to offer warmth and campfire snacks at the Fire and Ice Festival on Jan. 25.
   In Toronto, they’re turning winter into summer at the Toronto International Boat Show on now through Jan. 26 featuring a huge indoor lake.

   Light my fire
   “The Fire and Ice Festival brings together two powerful elements that pay homage to the glory of a Canadian winter in a creative event that truly has something for every age and taste,” said Tracy Larkman of the Bracebridge Business Improvement Area.
Fire eater Brant Matthews puts on a hot show in Bracebridge.
    The downtown will be alive with activities, demonstrations, gathering places, music and entertainment from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    “Fire” is represented by fire pits and Brant Matthews, a professional fire eater and juggler, ending with a fireworks show by the Rotary Club.
   “You can expect Bracebridge to once again be crowned the ‘coolest downtown in Canada’ when it is transformed from its quaint and charming core into an epic tubing hill for all to ride,” said Katie O’Hearn of Muskoka Tourism.
   “Ice” elements include the tube run, skating trail, ice sculpture demonstrations to transform a block of ice into a work of art and axe throwing.
   A frosty scene as an ice carver gets into his work.
    Muskoka has a well-deserved reputation for knowing how to celebrate winter.
   “Every year we welcome guests who join us to ski or snowshoe the trails, skate the lakes, climb the frozen waterfalls, take a tour through the forests by dog or horse sled and just savour the incredible beauty that is ours,” Larkman said.
   There will be musical acts on stage throughout town as well, including the Griffin Gastro Pub, Kelly’s Irish Pub and Camp Muskoka Coffeehouse that also has an outdoor fireplace.
   Festival tickets are $5 a person (free for children five and younger).

   Just add water
   One of the highlights of the Toronto boat show is that Twiggy, the water-skiing squirrel, is back.
   “Twiggy took a brief break after 40 years of performing across North America but is returning to the show by popular demand,” said publicist Tran Nguyen.
Making a splash at the boat show. (Dave Sandford)
    This is North America’s largest indoor boat show and it docks at the Enercare Centre.
   There are 1,200 new boats on display and more than 550 exhibitors showing every product to enjoy the boating lifestyle.
   This includes engines to trailers, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, marine accessories, navigational technology and must-haves for entertaining at the cottage.
   Some of the highlights include the centrepiece indoor lake for free boat rides, wakeboarding lessons, a kid’s fishing zone and a sailing simulator.
   There’s also the new boater welcome centre, 300 free seminars and workshops, and special guests including treasure hunters Darrell Miklos and Jim Sinclair of the Discovery Channel’s Cooper’s Treasure show.
Twiggy, the water-skiing squirrel, is a hit at the Toronto boat show. (Dave Sandford)
   Tammy Wolf, one of the most successful powerboat racers in North America, will make an appearance and the show will feature wakeboarding championships.
   Women’s Day takes place on Jan. 19 with “hands-on lessons to further their boating skills.”
   For more information:  TorontoBoatShow.com


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

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